The National Gallery of Art (NGA) in collaboration with the embassies of France, China and Czech Republic have opened the fourth Art of Friendship exhibition in Abuja to strengthen international cooperation through arts.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was represented by Mrs Ayotunde Adesugba, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said that bonding through arts could not be overemphasised.
“I am sure that the exhibition will provide art lovers and students in Nigeria with the wonderful opportunity to appreciate the cultural and aesthetic wealth of a diverse selection of outstanding artworks,” he said.
He said that the ministry was always delighted to forge a partnership that would breed international cooperation and understanding.
He appreciated NGA for its efforts in organising the exhibition.
“NGA is acting to the true meaning of its statutory responsibilities and this is commendable.
“Apart from congregating the people of like minds in productive creativity.
“I am also aware of the richness of arts, cultural property and values that each country has in its custody.
“When countries come together in an atmosphere of conviviality, friendship is assured,” Mohammed said.
The director-general of the NGA, Mr Abdullahi Muku, commended the participating countries for their efforts and was optimistic that the exhibition would not only improve the living standard of the artists but would also boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said that the exhibition, which started in 2012 was targeted at strengthening the relationship between Nigeria and other participating countries through the arts.
“This year’s exhibition, featuring works by distinguished artists from Nigeria, the Republics of France, Czech and China is expected to surpass the successful exhibition held in previous years.”
Muku was optimistic that the cultural fiesta was another medium of preaching peace, especially during this period of insurgency, adding that the works of Nigerian artists were always greeted with enthusiasm during international and national exhibitions.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Orji Uzor Kanu, who is also the chairman of International friendship Arts Foundation also commended NGA for the programme and pledged his support in subsequent ones.
NAN reports that works of art from Nigerian artists have continued to attract global patronage due to their aesthetics and high quality.
The event attracted guests from Nigeria and the diplomatic communities as artworks of artists like Olu Ajayi, Chinedu Onuigbo, Victoria Udondia and Ben Osaghea were showcased.
The exhibition is scheduled to run from Jan. 17 to Jan. 19.