“It has been a legendary painting for 40 years, everybody keeps talking about Tutu, saying ‘where is Tutu?’,” the Booker Prize-winning writer Okri told AFP.
“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 which recently turned up in a London flat.
Ben Enwonwu’s 1974 painting of Adetutu “Tutu” Ademiluyi, daughter of a Yoruba king, has taken on almost mythical status in the painter’s native Nigeria.
It was last seen in 1975 but is now up for sale after its surprise rediscovery.
The painting is expected to sell for around £250,000 ($347,000, 282,000 euros) when it goes on sale jointly in London and Lagos on February 28, but Okri argued that its worth was more than financial.