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Thread: How about the Travel Thread

  1. #161
    Africa: ‘the next China’ for contemporary art

    LAGOS — Giles Peppiatt, from Bonhams in London, had good reason to make the trip to Nigeria’s financial capital, Lagos, for the auction house’s next sale of African art — a glut of potential buyers.

    On a recent visit, he described Africa as “one of our hottest properties on the art block.”

    “In some ways, Africa is the new China when it comes to art,” he added. “We are investing time, money and people to maintain our presence in this market.”

    Bonhams has blazed a trail in the sector, having organized its first “Africa Now” sale of modern and contemporary African art in 2007, which has since become an annual event.

    Among its most expensive sales was “Arab Priest” (1945) by South African painter Irma Stern, which was bought by the Qatar Museums Authority for just over three million pounds (4.2 million euros, $4.7 million) in 2011.

    “New World Map” (2009) — one of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s tapestries embroidered from crushed aluminum bottle tops and copper wire — went for nearly 550,000 pounds the following year.

    A series of seven wooden sculptures by Nigeria’s Ben Enwonwu fetched 361.250 pounds — triple the estimate price.

    Increasing interest

    Leading African artists were virtually absent from art sales just a decade ago but now contemporary works feature strongly in sales at several international auction houses.

    Another El Anatsui tapestry sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s.

    “When institutions such as the Tate (in London) and the Smithsonian (in Washington DC) start to acquire contemporary African art, one then knows something wonderful has occurred,” said Peppiatt.

    On the back of successful sales in recent years, Bonhams is specializing even more this year, with a selection of modern art going under the hammer this month and contemporary art in October.

    In Africa, the Zinsou foundation’s museum of contemporary African art in Ouidah, Benin, and and the forthcoming opening of the huge Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in Cape Town, South Africa, are clear signs of the increasing interest of collectors.

    Most of the buyers at Bonhams’ “Africa Now” sales are African, explained Peppiatt.

    “A lot of collectors are very wealthy Nigerian businessmen,” he added.

    Culture and heritage

    “Nigerian art collectors want a piece of their own culture and heritage and are prepared to invest in that,” added Bonhams’ representative in Lagos, Neil Coventry.

    “What’s fascinating is that these pieces are being found all over the world. In some cases they are coming back to Nigeria where they are valued and appreciated the most.”

    Coventry, whose living room walls at his house overlooking the Lagos lagoon are covered with major Nigerian works of art, cites the example of Enwonwu.

    The painter and sculptor, who died in 1994, was once as famous a name in Nigeria as Britain, where he was notably the first black African artist commissioned to make a sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II in 1957.

    But his name was forgotten and only rediscovered in recent years.

    “He was an international artist and Africa’s premier modern artist,” said Coventry.

    “Collectors who bought pieces by Enwonwu early in his career are now getting older and those who have inherited works may have no idea of the value of what they have.

    “This rediscovery of Ben Enwonwu’s works is amazing.”

    Positive image

    Ten years ago, Enwonwu’s works sold for several hundred dollars but are now fetching hundreds of thousands at auction.

    Nevertheless, said Coventry, his work “is still massively under-valued, which is quite unique for an artist who was so accomplished during his own lifetime”.

    Femi Lijadu is one of several art collectors who will make the trip from Lagos to London for the auction on May 20 and has already pinpointed Nigerian works “at affordable prices.”

    He will be in the British capital because he is proud of the image the major artists portray of his country.

    Lijadu, a corporate lawyer, has some 500 pieces in his collection and remembers the time he began earning a living in the 1980s and buying pictures by the “Grand Masters” of Nigeria.

    “At the time we dreamt of the day where the world would finally start to take notice of Nigerian and African art in general,” he remembered with a smile.

    Judging by the scale of the auction, that day has arrived. Changing The Face of The Game!

  2. #162
    DENR uncovers Mactan, Panglao ‘cesspools’

    07:00 AM April 13, 2018

    CEBU CITY - Swimming is unsafe in the waters off Mactan Island in Cebu province, and Panglao Island in Bohol province - two of the top tourist destinations in the Visayas - as fecal coliform levels found in seawater exceed the standard set by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

    William Cuñado, director of the EMB in Central Visayas, said the bureau’s recent study found that fecal coliform reached 150 to 200 most probable number (MPN) in Panglao and 180 to 250 MPN in Mactan.

    The figures exceed the acceptable concentration of 100 MPN per 100 milliliters, which is considered safe for swimming and water sports.

    Levels above tolerable standards may lead to illnesses after contact with or ingestion of water.

    The contamination may be due to poor or noncompliance with proper wastewater treatment and sewage disposal systems by hotels and resorts that have proliferated in Mactan and Panglao, Cuñado said.

    He said more than 300 hotels and resorts in Panglao, crown jewel of Bohol’s tourism, had been issued notices of violation of the Clean Water Act (Republic Act No. 9275).

    Boracay shutdown

    Notices of violation were sent out to 37 hotels and resorts in Mactan, he added.

    Mactan and Panglao join Boracay as among the islands that have been found to have coliform levels unsafe for swimming.

    The dumping of sewage into the sea has resulted in regular algal blooms in Boracay, which President Duterte has called a “cesspool.”

    The government is closing down Boracay for up to six months starting April 26 so it can be rehabilitated.

    El Nido, Puerto Galera

    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is also cracking down on commercial establishments in El Nido, Palawan province, and Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro province—tourist destinations also known for their beaches—for violating sewage and sanitation laws.

    “On Panglao Island, we will be conducting a forum … on wastewater-treatment facilities for locators in the area to enlighten them about their importance,” Cuñado said.

    He said the EMB was also reconciling reports on compliance from the Central Visayas regional offices of the DENR-7, Department of Tourism and local government units (LGUs) before taking action.

    Gilbert Gonzales, the DENR regional director, said his office had completed an inventory of the compliance or noncompliance by resorts and hotels in Panglao on shoreline easement, forestland encroachment and intrusion in wetlands.

    The inventory in Mactan has not been completed.

    Easement zone violators

    Some of the establishments that violated the 20-meter easement zone have been issued notices and asked to attend technical conferences to correct the deficiencies.

    “After this, we will now demolish structures within the easement zone that we’ve established. Then after the demolition, we will require all establishments to apply the foreshore lease permits and comply with other requirements,” Gonzales said.

    Based on the assessments by two teams that inspected the resorts and hotels in Panglao and Mactan, there is no need to close down violators but regular monitoring should be pushed to ensure compliance, he said.

    The DENR earlier identified the lack of sewage treatment facilities and “bottomless” septic tanks as contributors to environmental problems in Panglao.

    Up to 90 percent of the resorts in Panglao have no wastewater facilities, Panglao Councilor Rogelyn Clemeña-Degoma earlier said.


    The Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants Association of Cebu (HRRAC) urged members to cooperate with LGUs and government agencies that were trying to correct environmental violations on Mactan Island.

    HRRAC president Carlo Suarez said the group was supporting the move of Lapu-Lapu City to go after establishments that violate shoreline easement regulation and lack sewage discharge permits.

    Mayor Paz Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City said on Wednesday that warnings had been sent to several establishments without a sewage discharge permit. - WITH A REPORT FROM JOSE SANTINO BUNACHITA

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