The federal government has deposited the archival materials and works of the late German scholar, Professor Ulli Beier, at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU) in Osogbo, Osun State, as part of the efforts to promote art and preserve the scholar’s achievements.
The Ulli Beier archive at the Centre was formally opened on Monday, along with a museum dedicated to the late popular artiste, Duro Ladipo, where his archival materials, including costumes, were kept.
The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck; a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who is the Chairman of the CBCIU Board; and the Executive Director of the Centre, Professor Siyan Oyeweso, were among the dignitaries at the event.
Beier was a German-born scholar, who, after completing his studies at the University of London in 1948, was appointed Associate Professor of Extramural Studies at Nigeria’s University College, Ibadan, in 1950.
He was an editor, writer and scholar with a pioneering role in developing literature, drama and poetry in Nigeria.
The depositing of Beier’s works at the CBCIU put to rest the controversies surrounding the Ulli Beier archival materials.
Before the scholar died, the federal government had sought his consent to archive his works in Nigeria, in line with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) procedure for establishing the Centre.
Oyinlola confirmed at the opening of the archive that the materials had been kept intact at the CBCIU in Osogbo.
Prof Oyeweso said the archive would assist researchers and scholars who might need content around the work done by Ulli Beier in his lifetime.
Schlagheck expressed satisfaction with the archive and commended the Nigerian government for keeping to the agreement.
Many great artists and artistes trained by Beier, including Chief Jimoh Buraimo, Chief Yemi Elebuubon and Chief Muraina Oyelami, also expressed delight over the archive.
Many members of the Duro Ladipo family were also at the event.