JUST IN: Art collector Okonta dies at 80

August 29, 2019
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Frontline collector and gallery owner Chief Francis Chukwuma Okonta is dead.

He died in London on Wednesday at 80 after a brief illness, according to a family source.

The late Okonta, who was a retired civil servant played a major role in the berthing of the nation’s most popular visual art festival Art Expo in Lagos in 2008, in collaboration with Joe Musa led National Gallery of Art, (NGA).

He was the pioneer President Art Gallery Owners Association of Nigeria (AGAN), the umbrella body of gallerists that hosted the expo for about three years before it was rested.

The late Okonta retired in 1999 from Federal Ministry of Information as Deputy Director.

READ ALSO: Renowned artist David Dale dies at 72

He was a civil servant of note that caught the attention of the Presidency so much that he became member VISION 20:10 during the regime of late General Sani Abacha.

He was Secretary-General, Nigeria Olympic Committee and served as Special Assistant to the former Minister of Information, Senator Uche Chukwumerije.

While at the Ministry of Information he was appointed Chairman, Nigeria Boxing Association; President, Cycling Federation and Secretary-General, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC). Until his death he was Chief Executive Officer Nkem Gallery, Lekki, Lagos

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