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Press Release!

Historically Significant 9th – 11th Century Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes in National Museum Lagos’ Collection Selected for Bank of America’s 2022 Art Conservation Project 



Press Release!

Historically Significant 9th – 11th Century Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes in National Museum Lagos’ Collection Selected for Bank of America’s 2022 Art Conservation Project

December 07, 2022 – The National Museum Lagos has been selected as a beneficiary of the Bank of America Arts Conservation Project 2022 and is among 19 major global art conservation projects to be selected. Funding from the grant will be used to restore 350 Igbo-Ukwu bronze objects, historically inimitable, they come from a culture that may be the earliest known example of bronze casting in the region. This grant is the first ever funding received for the conservation of the Igbo-Ukwu bronzes.

Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project has supported the conservation of more than 6,000 individual pieces since 2010, including paintings, sculptures, and archaeological and architectural pieces of critical importance to cultural heritage and the history of art. More than 200 projects across 39 countries have been managed by non-profit cultural institutions that receive grant funding to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.

The National Museum Lagos will restore the Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes, elaborately decorated bronze works dating from the 9th century, in need of conservation to keep the objects in proper form. The Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant will enable the Nigerian National Museum to conduct a structural analysis, consolidation and full conservation and treatment of a total of 350 culturally significant objects of Igbo-Ukwu origin in its

collection, beginning with a selection of 150 Igbo-Ukwu bronze objects. The conservation process will take approximately 8 months on site at the National Museum and will involve support from an expert conservator.

“The grant provides an avenue for proper and adequate conservation of Igbo-Ukwu objects, especially some that are already corroded and needs to be restored. It allows the National Commission for Museums and Monuments the opportunity to exhibit objects in their best states for public education and enlightenment.” said Abba Isa Tijani, Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria.

The discovery of the Igbo-Ukwu bronzes was accidental, found in 1938 when a man tried to dig a water cistern in his compound in a village called Igbo-Ukwu- Anambra State Nigeria. Upon scientific excavation of the site in 1959, radiocarbon dating placed the site to 850 CE, which could make the Igbo-Ukwu culture the earliest known example of bronze casting in the region. These Igbo-Ukwu bronzes also represent the earliest examples of copper alloy (copper and tin) art in Sub-Saharan Africa. The people of Igbo-Ukwu were likely among the first groups of West Africans to use the lost wax hollow casting technique, also known as cire perdue, to produce these bronze sculptures.

The National Museum Lagos is one of 19 significant art restoration projects selected for the 2022 Bank of America Art Conservation Project, representing a diverse range of artistic styles, media, and cultural traditions across the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Ghana, Ireland, Spain, France and Mexico. Institutions receiving support from Bank of America this year include, National Museum of Ghana, Notre-Dame de Paris, Trinity College Library Dublin, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid, and more.

“Through the Art Conservation Project, we have an opportunity to shine a light on the perpetual need for conservation and preservation. Our support helps ensure that future generations can celebrate and enjoy these historic works of art for years to come.” said Brian Siegel, global arts and heritage executive at Bank of America.


Note to Editors:

 National Museum Lagos, and Igbo-Ukwu Art

The National Museum Lagos, one of the 53 museums managed and supervised by the National Commission for Museums & Monuments is the flagship museum and the largest in terms of collections in the country. The Museum has six collection stores of about 40,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects. Its mission is the systematic collection, preservation, study and interpretation of the tangible and intangible material evidence of the development of the multi-ethnic/multi-cultural peoples of Nigeria, and Nigerians in the diaspora. Among the ethnographic objects in the collection are Igbo-Ukwu art pieces (dated between 9th – 11th Century AD) from Igbo ethnic groups of South Eastern Nigeria. The objects represent archaeological materials from Igbo Isaiah, Igbo Jonah and Igbo Richard. Their outstanding features are great elaboration of insects and other naturalistic representations on the surfaces. Lagos museum’s educational programmes include lectures, film shows, cultural quiz programmes, storytelling, music and drama performances, guided tours, cultural fashion parade shows, teacher workshops, art workshops and exhibitions, Located at Onikan, in the heartland of Lagos the museum has Galleries, Library, Children Play Park, Museum Kitchen, Open lawn, Car Park, a Craft Shop and Storage Areas.

Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).


For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.


Learn about this year’s projects in the 2022 Art Conservation Project brochure.


Bank of America press contacts:



T: +44 (0) 2079965627


T : +44 (0) 2079964629


For more information, please visit the following websites:,



Prof. Abba Isa Tijani

Director-General NCMM


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