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May 9, 2022

Nigeria’s Looty aims to digitally restore stolen African art

Looty, a Nigerian art-focused company, has devised a method for Africans to view all of the art that was lost during the colonial era.

Chidi, a 34-year-old Nigerian creative designer and creator of Looty, explained that the company first locates African art in museums around the world, then scans and converts the art into 3D formats using specific software and technology.

While this procedure appears simple, Chidi, who refused to reveal his surname so that attention could be focused on Looty’s work, contended that it is not.

Chidi, speaking to the BBC, said:

On May 13, the Looty website will go live. The project, however, commenced operations in November of last year. Chidi collaborates with two Nigerians and a Somali to find prospective art pieces and digitalize them. Each member of the team is an expert in 3D design, NFT technology, or editing.

To capture the artwork, each member has previously visited museums in the United Kingdom and France. The crew has digitally replicated roughly 25 African art items since the project began last year. The famous Benin Bronzes, which once adorned the royal palace of the kingdom of Benin, now Nigeria, are among them.

After debates about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) became popular, Chidi came up with the idea for Looty. At the same period, rumors of European colonizers plundering African art abounded. As a result, he resolved to act on both issues, resulting in the birth of the platform.

Looty’s current goal is to repatriate all African art in order to inspire African artists and raise funding to help them further their careers. The forthcoming website will solely accept cryptocurrencies as payment for NFT art.

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A portion of every transaction will be donated to the Looty Fund, which aims to provide African artists with grants and gifts in the form of money and equipment to help them develop their work.