Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2013 Contents A44
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 7, 2013
Kenya is holding its first commercial
auction of East African art in the cap-
ital, Nairobi, with 47 works going under
Prices are expected to range from sev-
eral hundred dollars for some pieces up
to more than $28,000 (£17,400).
The auction is a sign of the growing
profile of the region s art scene, as well
as the growth of a a wealthy elite, experts
say.International collectors are increasingly
focusing on African art.
Last month, London hosted the first
international fair dedicated to modern
and contemporary African art.
Earlier this year, London auction house
Bonhams sold the work of eight leading
Kenyan artists at a charity auction.
The works of Kenyan artists will dom-
inate the auction, but artists from
Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda
will also be featured.
The Circle Art Agency, which is organ-
ising the auction at Nairobi s Kempinski
Hotel later on Tuesday, says some of
the works for sale have not been seen
in public for decades.
"There are some hidden treasures
that form part of Kenya s cultural history
dating from 1967 to 2013," it said.
"Over the last few months we trav-
elled to numerous places in search of
exceptional works, many of which were
buried away in artist s studios in neigh-
bouring towns or hanging on hidden
corridors in collectors homes," Danda
Jaroljmek, from Circle Art Agency, told
Kenya s Star newspaper.
One of the most expensive items going
up for sale is a sculpture called Dancing
Warrior by the late, influential Kenyan
artist Samuel Wanjau.
It is expected to fetch between
$25,000 and $28,500.
"His work and career is emblematic
of a time when artists were breaking
away from the mass production of co-
operatives and finding distinctive indi-
vidual voices," the auction notes say.
Lot 47 is entitled Auction by Kenyan
artist Michael Soi, who painted it to cel-
ebrate Tuesday s sale.
Some of his most widely collected
paintings are from a recent series called
China Loves Africa, The Circle Art
It is not only those in East Africa s
growing art scene who have welcomed
the Nairobi auction.
"I think it s very exciting, and I think
from an investor s point of view, and
someone who appreciates art, I think
it s only going one way, and that s going
higher," Aly-Khan Satchu, an investment
adviser in Nairobi, told AFP.
Rose Jepkorir, of Circle art agency, displays a painting for the first commercial auction of east African art
Monday, in Nairobi. AFP PHOTO
Kenyan art auction
held in Nairobi
DR CONGO---The Democratic Repub-
lic of Congo army scored a crushing
defeat of the M23 rebels but Kinshasa
says it will not rest on its laurels as
many more armed groups rove the
Further fighting is already in the off-
ing with the government vowing to
eradicate Rwandan Hutu fighters, also
active in the mineral-rich region, who
include the remnants of the militia
that carried out the 1994 genocide in
Rwanda An offensive is "being planned,
but we cannot announce it", an army
spokesman for the eastern North Kivu
region, Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier
Amuli, told AFP yesterday.
Government spokesman Lambert
Mende said the M23 was only the first
of a plethora of well-armed and organ-
ised groups in Kinshasa s sights.
"There is no more place in our coun-
try for any irregular group," Mende
said Tuesday, adding: "The M23 was
at the top of the list; they were replaced
by the FDLR (Democratic Forces for
the Liberation of Rwanda). We will get
on with disarming them."
Kinshasa has been repeatedly
accused of using the FDLR as pawns
in a complex proxy war with neigh-
bouring Rwanda and Uganda, in turn
accused of backing groups such as the
M23. The rebels crushing defeat
appeared to signal that the Rwandan
government had finally yielded to
intense diplomatic pressure and chosen
to abandon its alleged proxy. Rwanda s
minority Tutsi-led government has
adamantly denied supporting the M23,
which was founded by former Tutsi
rebels who were incorporated into the
Congolese army under a 2009 peace
deal which they charge was never fully
Yesterday, at the hilltop outpost of
Chanzu that was one of the rebels last
stands, soldiers and UN peacekeepers
sifted through the materiel they left
behind---including olive-green rockets
allegedly used by the Rwandan mili-
"These are not supplied to the (Con-
golese army), it s Rwanda that uses
this weapon," a soldier told AFP.
The disbanding of the M23 marks
the clearest and most significant mil-
itary victory for the Congolese gov-
ernment since the 1963 crushing of a
separatist rebellion in the southern
province of Katanga. The M23 s sur-
render after 18 months of fighting,
would not be cause "to get out the
champagne", Russ Feingold, the US
special envoy for the Great Lakes
region, said last week ahead of the
He said the ethnic Tutsi group was
"only one of 40 to 45 armed groups
in eastern Congo".
The UN refugee agency said Tuesday
that the recent fighting had forced
10,000 civilians to flee across the bor-
der to Uganda, Rwanda s neighbour to
the north. Christian humanitarian
group World Vision warned: "There s
a long way to go before normal life can
After crushing M23, Kinshasa
sets sights on Hutu rebels
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