PETITION AGAINST YOUR PROPOSED AUCTION OF OUR ANCESTRAL LEGACY:
Dear Rastalive Wire:
Please, join me to petition and condemn a proposed auction of a very ancient Benin Art that was stolen from Benin Kingdom. The sculpture is that of Queen Idia, the mother of Oba Esigie, the Benin monarch who was reigning when Prince Ohime, (later vernacularised as “Chime”) left the Benin empire to establish Onitsha and other kingdoms in mid-Western and Eastern Nigeria. Prince Ohime and Oba Esigie were siblings!
The name of the company that has offered it for auction is SOTHERBYS of London. Their address is 34-35 New Bond Street, London, WI, A2 AA, and their phone number is 011 44 207293 5000. Their fax number is 011 44 2072935989. You can also reach them at email@example.com. You can also send your petition to www./petitions.com/petition/benin_masks/signatures.
The reader can goggle “stolen Benin masks at Sotherbys” or Sahara Reports for further elucidation of the proposed sale of the art.
I have also attached my communication to Sotherby regarding the proposed sale, hereunder. I encourage the reader to read my letter to Sotherby below to have a grasp of my reasoning!
Geb Ra El!
—————————————————————————————————————————————- PETITION AGAINST YOUR PROPOSED AUCTION OF OUR ANCESTRAL LEGACY:
Dear Board of directors of Sotherbys!
Please be advised that your proposed auction/sale of an ivory image of Queen Iyoba Idia, the mother of the great Benin Emperor, Oba Esigie is repugnant to fundamental senses of morality, scruples, natural justice and good conscience! It is repulsive; and reflects a vile and, abominable unconsciousness. It goes to sustain doubts on your professed positive intention for “colonizing” Africa!
This mask was part of a group of arts that was stolen by wicked colonial officers who abused and raped Africa for her resources. Furthermore, this art was sacred to us and was part of our ritualistic emblems in the veneration of our ancestors! It was a very spiritual symbol that encapsulated the soul and spirit of Edo people and their descendants! Its spiritual esthetical value is priceless! But, I have a question, if you do not mind? Can I ask it?
WHY DOES YOUR CONSCIENCE MELT WHEN IT COMES TO AFRICANS?
During Festac Festival in 1977, the Nigerian government begged to even borrow this image from Britain, and offered to pay millions of pounds, but you refused! Now, you want to auction it? Why this insane fixation with depriving Africans of our spiritual relics? Why are you so scared about giving us back our ancestral relics?
WOULD YOU HAVE HAD THE GUTS TO DO THIS IF IT WAS LOOTED AND STOLEN FROM THE JEWISH PEOPLE? YOUR PROPOSED AUCTION OF THIS SACRED ART IS COMPARABLE TO OFFERING A JEWISH SACRED SYMBOL THAT WAS LOOTED BY THE NAZIS FOR SALE! WOULD YOU DARE TO DO THIS? WOULD YOU DO THIS TO AN ART THAT IS SACRED TO CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM OR HINDUISM?
HOW LONG WOULD YOU BE TREATING AFRICANS LIKE A PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO SOULS? ARE WE NOT HUMAN BEINGS? HOW DARE YOU HAVE THE UNMITIGATED GALLS TO ADVERTISE THE AUCTIONING OF A SYMBOL THAT IS SO SACRED TO AFRICA? A SACRED IMAGE OF A QUEEN IDIA THAT WAS STOLEN BY THE CORRUPT BRITISH COLONIAL “MASTER” BY THE NAME OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL HENRY LIONEL GALWAY?
EXPLOITATIONS OF AFRICANS:
BY THE WAY, DID NOT YOUR “CHRISTIANITY” WHICH YOU IMPOSED ON US TEACH US THAT AFRICAN SPIRITUAL SYMBOLS WERE WORTHLESS IDOLS AND IMAGES? AND, YOU ARE OFFERING THIS ONE PIECE OF ART FOR SALE FOR $10,000,000.00(10 MILLION DOLLARS)? YOU HAD HIDDEN THIS ART FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY? WHY DID YOU, HIDE IT?
YOU CAME TO AFRICA, FORCED OUR ANCESTORS TO “SIGN TREATIES” IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE THAT THEY NEITHER SPOKE NOR UNDERSTOOD, WHEREIN THEY TRANSFERRED ALL OUR NATURAL RESOURCES TO YOU! IN LAGOS, ONITSHA, CALABAR AND MANY AFRICAN KINGDOMS, KINGS AND QUEENS “SIGNED” TREATIES WITH YOU AND GAVE YOU POWERS OVER OUR LANDS! WHAT ELSE COULD BE USED AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE GREATEST FRAUD ON EARTH?
STOLEN LEGACY AND TRIBUTE TO OBA OVONRAMWEN NOGBAISI:
OBA OVONRONWHEN ODUGBUWA NOGBAISI OF THE BENIN EMPIRE REFUSED TO GIVE YOU THE POWERS THAT YOU WANTED IN YOUR QUEST TO CONTROL TRADE IN HIS EMPIRE RESULTING TO YOUR PROVOCATION AND WAGING OF WAR AGAINST THE BENIN EMPIRE. YOU LOOTED AND STOLE THE SACRED EMBLEMS OF THE EMPIRE, WHICH ARE NOW HOUSED ALL OVER YOUR “MUSEUM” AND IN PRIVATE POSSESSIONS! OBA OVONRAMWEN AND THE GREAT SHAKA ZULU WERE THE FEW AFRICAN EMPIRES THAT RESISTED THE COLONIAL OCCUPATION OF THEIR EMPIRES!
HOW COULD MY KINGS, OBI AKAZUE AND OBI ANAZONWU SIGN TREATIES WITH YOU IN A LANGUAGE THAT THEY NEVER SPOKE AND READ: “ENGLISH LANGUAGE”? TRANSFERRING THE “OWNERSHIP AND DOMINION OF ALL THEIR LANDS” TO YOUR KING?
HYPOCRISY AND FALSE DOCTRINES:
Why did you teach us to FORGET about earthly possessions and worry more about a world that existed only when we died, WHILST you took your time to amass our sacred arts, diamonds, gold, and selling five hundred million Africans into slavery to work in your farms in the so called New World? Why don’t you give us back our sacred arts, diamonds, silver, copper, uranium and oil now on earth, and get back them when you die and go to your heaven?
You think that we do not know that your wealth and IMF loans that you give “African nations” with stifling interests, are looted African wealth and resources?
GREED WAS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR COMING TO AFRICA:
You just met in a Berlin conference in 1865 and just carved up Africa into “countries” and split her amongst yourselves and have continued to exploit us since then? You gave me the name “Nigeria”! A name that was never known to my ancestors; a name that had no soul, no spirit, or essence! You gave me a Nigerian “coat of arms” that had the images of horses(animals that only executed the wishes of their master) whilst in your own coat of arms the imagery of lions and strong symbols were represented! How dare you have the temerity to auction a very sacred art that had been in existence before you even knew what civilization meant? This art is worth more than the stupid and worthless name “Nigeria” and the “coat of arms” that you gave me! Take back your name and coat of arms and give me back my legacy, arts, identity and natural resources!
WHAT IS IN A NAME?
Just like in most African Kingdoms, the symbols of my town in Onitsha are the royal leopards, vulturine eagle and the royal python! Did you not see these symbols when your spying “missionaries” visited my town and other African Kings? I had been existing for millennia before your “Nigeria” was created in 1914! “Lord” Lugard’s girl friend just referred to us as a people that dwelt in the River Niger area and you gave us the name “Nigeria” from “Niger area”! Is that how nations are named? I am not a “Nigerian” because foreigners never chose and gave names to my ancestors or their nations! I had been existing from the dawns of creation and never came into existence in 1914.
SYMBOLISM OF IDIA’S IMAGE:
The image of Iyoba Idia encapsulates the soul of the Bini nation! We do not attach any importance to its materialistic worth like you do! It invokes and evokes spiritual concepts and values that will always elude you because of your fixation with world of materialism! I would therefore not bother you and the family of Lieutenant Colonel Galway with deeper allusions of the sacred symbol that they stole from Benin. I might offer a little historicity behind its importance to me.
That image of Queen Idia is sacred to me as an Onitsha man and a Benin descendant! Queen Idia(IYO OBA) was the mother of Oba Esigie, who was in power, when my ancestors left Benin, years ago! My ancestral exodus from the sacred Benin empire was tired to this warrior Queen and her Field Marshal Gbunwala! THE BLOOD OF THIS WOMAN FLOWED IN THE VEINS OF MY ANCESTORS AND FLOWS IN MY CHILDREN’S VEINS! Her images every where are sacred to me and, allowing a stolen image of her to be reduced to a mere piece of art to be auctioned would serve as a legitimation of African exploitation!
Many families had migrated from Edo/ Benin to form other nations in Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic(Dahomey), Eastern, Midwestern, Northern and Western Nigeria. Many of the so called slaves that were taken to Haiti, Dominica, Jamaica and the new world were from the Edo tribe. You are therefore, not insulting the geographical region of the Bini people in Nigeria, but thousands of other nations in the world!
WHEN LAST DID YOU OFFER TO AUCTION AN ART THAT WAS SACRED TO ANY EUROPEAN TRIBE? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
I had already called your office to make this complaint and you had directed me to the above email to express my pains.
Geb Ra El.