National Art Theatre’s Artiste Village Destroyed, One Protester Shot

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What is left of the popular Artiste Village located at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu in Lagos is now the ruins of a large mass of land after bulldozers pulled down structures early on Saturday morning.

The artiste village was a large complex that housed structures such as art and exhibition studios, dance workshops and offices among others. It stood at a corner of the expansive land that housed Nigeria’s National Arts Theatre, Iganmu.

Sources said that the demolition was ordered by the management of the national edifice led by Director General, Alhaji Kabiru Yusuf. An eyewitness reported that the DG led armed policemen to the artiste village with bulldozers at about 5am.

It could not be immediately ascertain if the management gave notice or provide alternative location for the displaced artistes.

ExpressNG reliably gathered that one of the protesting occupants was shot in the leg by an unidentified security person. The injured man was rushed to the hospital by concerned colleagues and is now receiving treatment.

The ugly incidence have rendered a lot of the artistes mentally homeless and destroyed their priceless intellectual properties.

Paris-based dancer, Qudus Onikeku who started his career at the building complex several years ago described the demolition exercise as a disregard for artistes and creative persons by the government.

His words, “Let it be on record before the battle begins, that the DG (Kabiru Yusuf) of the National Arts Theatre has become a complete nuisance to the Artists community. And since he is a representative of the Federal Government, his recent action further tells us that this present government is bent on completely destroying the arts and creative expressions.”

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