Research and Authentication FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between a research enquiry and authentication?

A research enquiry is the first stage of authentication. Before a work can be seen by the authentication committee, preliminary research is completed to find out if it conforms to our records. Research enquiries are completed without viewing the original artwork. Responses to research enquiries are sent via email. The second stage of authentication requires that artworks are delivered to the Foundation for examination by the authentication committee. After the panel meeting, the Foundation issues a letter stating its opinion and issues certificates for authentic works.

Q: Do I need to send in the original artwork?

If you would like your work to be seen by the authentication committee, they need to view the actual object. You will need to arrange for it to be delivered to the Foundation in Ikoyi, Lagos between 7 and 10 days in advance of the meeting. Applicants are solely responsible for arranging and covering the cost of transport and insurance.

Q: Is the information I provide confidential or will it be made public?

All information you share with us is strictly confidential, or permission is granted otherwise.

Q: How long will it take to receive a response to my research enquiry?

We aim to respond to enquiries within a week. However, if there is a specific deadline, we will do our best to accommodate it.

Q: I want to sell my Ben Enwonwu work now. Do I need to wait for a response to my research enquiry?

We strongly advise that works are withheld from sale and publication until a response has been received from the Foundation.

Q: What is the best way to send my work to the authentication committee?

We recommend sending artworks via a reputable fine art transport agent, particularly if sending from outside Nigeria as they would advise on the necessary customs procedures. Please liaise with the Foundation to arrange the delivery date to ensure someone is available to receive the work on arrival.

Q: Will my work be safe at the Foundation?

Works are kept in secure storage area at all times. However, insurance and transportation are the sole responsibility of all applicants. The Ben Enwonwu Foundation will not accept responsibility for loss or damage to the artwork for any reason, including theft, fire, leakage, accidents, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Q: How soon after the authentication committee meeting can I collect my work?

We request that works are collected within two weeks of the authentication committee except in specially arranged cases. Commercial storage applies after the 2-week period has lapsed.

Q: If the committee does not consider the work to be by Ben Enwonwu can I appeal?

It is at the discretion of the authentication committee to subject the work to further review, including scientific methods of investigation.

Q: Can I share the outcome of authentication with others?

You may share the outcome of the authentication committee.

Q: I would like my work authenticated now, is that possible?

The authentication committee meets twice a year. Occasionally, we may be able to authenticate works at other times. If you have a special request please contact info@benenwonwufoundation.org.

Q: Does the Ben Enwonwu Foundation provide valuations?

Yes. We sometimes work in collaboration with reputable auction houses to determine values of Enwonwu works.