The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II has called for economic and technological support from the American government to develop Edo State, stating the state’s interest to open up the ‘Gelegele’ Export Free Zone for economic purposes.
He made this call when he played host to the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Stuart Symington and the Director Emerita of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts, Dr. Johnetta Cole.
Oba Ewuare II stated that it was a great privilege for the state to host the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts Exhibition and disclosed that the exhibition was a proof that the Benin culture is number one in Africa.
He also added that the Benin Kingdom has rich works of art and a cultural center and therefore, urged Smithsonian to partner with the Palace in order to revive and improve on the facilities in the Cultural Center to be able to host world class cultural and art exhibition.
Meanwhile, the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington disclosed that the cultural and arts exhibition which would be held in Benin City would further strengthen the bond between Nigeria and America.
She added that the images to be exhibited reflect the lifestyle and culture of Benin people and would create surprises in the minds of people around the world.
The Director Emerita of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts, Dr. Johnetta Cole who expressed satisfaction that the dream of Smithsonian Institution became a reality also reiterated that the Art exhibition would be a memorable one for the Smithsonian Institution.
She added that the institution is in collaboration with other agencies to stage the exhibition in Benin City.
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