Italian embassy celebrates Yoruba culture through artwork

The Italian Embassy in Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja celebrated the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba through a collage of artworks with the theme - `human and spiritual wealth of Yorubas'. The celebration involved a solo exhibition of artworks of prominent Italian artist, Mr Luigi Ballarin. The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stefano De Leo speaking at the solo art exhibition, said art collection was a tribute to the over 40 million Yoruba-speaking people in West Africa. De Leo said that Ballarin's artworks had captivated audiences around the world. 'Today, it was a privilege to have his exhibition celebrating the Yoruba culture of Nigeria. 'His passion for exploring the intricacies of different cultures is evident in his work, reflecting a deep respect for tradition and a profound understanding of the human experience. 'In doing that, Ballarin has taken profound inspiration from the rich tapestry of traditions and artistry that define this vibrant community. 'Through his art, he has sought to c apture the essence of the Yoruba people, their history, and their enduring legacy of creativity and spirituality. 'With a keen eye for detail and a deep appreciation for the beauty of the world around him, Ballarin invites us to join him on a journey of discovery and enlightenment, ''he said. Mr Luigi Ballerina, Italian artist and solo exhibitor on Yoruba heritage. Also speaking, Ballarin said that the Yoruba people were one of the largest in West Africa, adding that, over the centuries they had developed a refined culture. 'This is why the title of the exhibition is called the human and spiritual wealth of the Yoruba people. 'One of the most characteristically masks and headdresses, together with ritual costumes. 'Within each Yoruba community, art occupies a prominent place and a distinct artist tradition that remains vital and influential even in the current era. 'I think immersing myself in such a different and complex culture is incredibly constructive, fascinating, and stimulating, ' he said. Ac cording to the artist, preparing for this exhibition, I felt pushed into a dreamlike dimension because Nigeria is full of prodigious stories. He also referred to a recent book titled; 'African Venice in Italy', adding that it was the first guide that spoke about the African presence in the Venetian city of yesterday and today. 'There are about 20 essays, poems, and reflections that enrich the narratives of the African past and present of Venice. 'Therefore, art and writing can act as a bridge which unites people and continents. 'How do you explain Africa to those who judge it without ever having to caress this red and dusty land with their own hands? He queried. Some of the artwork in the exhibition 'Human and Spiritual Wealth of Yorubas' The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Yoruba language is spoken in the Western African countries of Nigeria, Benin Republic, parts of Togo, and Sierra Leone. It, therefore, constitutes one of the largest single languages in sub-Sahara Africa. NAN recalls that Ballarin did a similar art exhibition in July 2023 titled ' Colours of Noble Cultures'' of the Northern part of Nigeria, precisely depicting the Kano Durbar. Source: News Agency of Nigeria