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The Long-Lost Portrait of “Tutu” that Served as the Symbol of Nigeria-Biafra Reconciliation Finally Sold at $1.6M

The portrait of Princess of Ife, Adetutu Ademiluyi Photo Source:Voaafrica

Last month, we reported the finding of Ben Enwonwu’s 1974 painting of Princess Adetutu of the city of Ife which was found in a London flat, after 25 years of missing.

The painting was scheduled for auction at an estimation of $400,000 making it the most valued piece of Nigerian art. Yesterday, “Tutu” went up for auction at Bonhams in London, and it shattered estimations by selling for a record-breaking 1.6 million dollars (1.2 million pounds).



The identity of the buyer is yet to be disclosed but here is the story of how the painting came to be, via CNN.

Enwonwu was walking in the Nigerian countryside when he met a beautiful young woman whom he just had to paint, according to Bonhams auction house in London. Her name is Adetutu Ademiluyi, abbreviated as Tutu, and she was a princess in her city of Ife in south-western Nigeria.

The painting along with two others went missing back in 1994. The whereabouts of the other two paintings remain unknown.

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Henry I. Ugwu

Written by Henry I. Ugwu

Henry I. Ugwu is a writer, opinion journalist, media scholar, social media strategist and crisis management expert.

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