…Commends Cross River for supporting art
Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State, took out time, amid his tight schedule, to see a 30-day visual art exhibition in Calabar, during the festive season.
While on his visit to the National Museum Calabar, venue of the exhibition, Duke commended the efforts of Bassey Edet Otu, governor of Cross River State, for preserving the cultural heritage of the people of the state and Nigeria at large through his support for cultural projects, Carnival Calabar and the exhibition at the National Museum in Calabar.
Tagged “Traces of Time”, the exhibition explored the artistic expression dating back from the 16th century to the contemporary era.
The exhibition, which was mounted by Bose’ Fagbemi, a France-based Art Historian, was a cynosure of attention by the young and the old, who visited the Old Residency, a historical icon on its own. Apart from the exhibition, a Christmas Holiday Camp built by the First Lady of Cross River for children drew a huge crowd of families to the museum.
The highlight of the visit by Duke, who is unarguably, a knowledge icon of tourism, was his talk on the relationship between the Binis and the Efiks, dating back to when Oba Ovanrenwen of Benin was relocated to Calabar in the 19th Century by the British.
Duke urged arts enthusiasts to take advantage of the season in visiting the museum and the artists to stage an all year round exhibition of such a big magnitude.
The exhibition received lots of VIPs including the governor, the first lady and Jane Esienawan Inyang, justice of the Court of Appeal, whose grandfather, Asuquo Etim Inyang, was the first lawyer from the entire Old Eastern Nigeria, who was admitted to the Inner Temple London and called to the English and Nigerian bar in 1924.
There is also a section of the installations dedicated to Barrister Inyang, who was previously listed as one of the Cross River State 100 Men of the last Millennium.
While the justice of the Court of Appeal was visiting, a young student of University of Calabar, who showed a lot of interest in the photographs of Grand Pa Inyang was spotted by Justice Jane Inyang, who promised to support and mentor the student.
Meanwhile, Bose Fagbemi, the artistic counselor, thanked Duke for his visit and the pledge to support future exhibitions.
She thanked the Cross River State government for making the 30-day exhibition a success through the collaboration with the Cross River State Carnival Commission.