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Interested in Contemporary African Art, But Can’t Get To, Say, Nigeria? A New Virtual Museum

(Judith H. Dobrzynski, RealClearArts, ArtsJournal)The sexiness of contemporary art, and of being center of the arts, seems to be a global phenomenon — a matter of imagination, of aspiration, of pride, and probably of business, too.

Recently, Nigeria — which has stabilized a bit in recent years under a civilian government — got into the act. Its onetime capital, Lagos, has a National Museum, which displays bronzes and ivories from the Kingdom of Benin, but no contemporary art.

To fill that void, no one is erecting a grand new physical space for a contemporary art in what remains a poor country — which is smart. Rather, the Pan African University has started a “Virtual Museum of Modern Nigeria Art.” The site is still under construction, but it’s a start and it’s something of a plus to museums around the world that are trying to have a global outlook in an era of shrinking resources.