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"I think of it as the African Mona Lisa," said award-winning novelist Ben Okri, gazing at the long-lost portrait of a Nigerian princess that recently turned up in a London flat. Ben Enwonwu's 1974 painting of Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, daughter of a Yoruba king, took on mythical status in the painter's native Nigeria.As a prominent Nigerian cultural figure on the world stage, Okri viewed the painting at prestigious London auction house Bonhams, where it will be sold on Feb. 28 .The work was uncovered by Giles Peppiatt, director of Modern African Art at Bonhams, after a north London family contacted him following lucrative recent sales of Nigerian artworks.The painting is expected to sell for around $347,000 when it goes on sale jointly in London and Lagos on Feb. 28, but Okri argued that its worth was more than financial.
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