GTBank deepens its support for African Art

GT Bank, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions based in Nigeria, has announced a sponsorship with London’s Tate Modern gallery which will promote African art through a dedicated curatorial post, an acquisition fund and annual projects.
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July 4, 2011 - PRLog -- Building upon its successful sponsorship of the Chris Ofili exhibition at Tate Britain last year and the exhibit of Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions based in Nigeria, has announced another monumental arts partnership with Tate that will project the importance of Arts of African origin to global artistic developments.

This long term sponsorship with the Tate is an even bigger and bolder initiative that will take Guaranty Trust Bank’s involvement with African art a significant step forward. It will include:

•          The creation of a dedicated curatorial post at Tate Modern to focus on African art.  As well as exploring contemporary practice in the region, the new Curator will help to deepen knowledge and understanding of the impact of art from the world’s second-largest continent

•          An acquisition fund to enable the Tate to enhance its holdings of work by African artists

•          An annual project in London and in Africa that will enable continuous exchanges between young artists, curators, collectors and cultural institutions in African and internationally

Speaking on the world-class partnership, Segun Agbaje, Acting Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank and a long advocate of the company’s investment in art said; “Today we announce an important partnership between Tate and Guaranty Trust Bank plc to improve international awareness about the various genres of African art and provide new opportunities for artists across the continent.

“At Guaranty Trust Bank plc, we believe that art is an intricate part of the African heritage and a complete reflection of everything it means to be African; creative, beautiful, industrious and hopeful. This conviction has led to our involvement in numerous art-promoting initiatives over the years and is the bedrock for this new partnership with Tate.

“We believe this partnership with Tate will play an important role in fuelling economic and social progress and are therefore committed along with our African and international stakeholders to strive together with Tate, African artists, curators and cultural institutions to actualise the goals of this collaboration, which include supporting art talent in Africa, safe guarding our African heritage for future generations and enhancing the perception of our continent and country by the rest of the world.”

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said; “This important partnership between Tate and Guaranty Trust Bank marks the recognition of the significance of modern and contemporary art in Africa. We now have an unprecedented opportunity to work with colleagues in the region, with energy, curiosity and eagerness, to define new parameters in art. This is the beginning of being able to give African art the focus it deserves with audiences around the world.”

Hear Segun Agbaje and Chris Dercon talk about the breadth of the sponsorship, rational for involvement and GTB’s history of art partnerships by visiting  This web resolution video in .mov and .wmv format is available for to view and download free of charge (involves registration).
Photos of Segun Agbaje and Chris Dercon taken at agreement of sponsorship available on request.

For further information, please call Carolyn Dealey at +44207 457 2049 or email Alternatively, call Jeremy Durrant on +44207 866 7883 or email

Notes to editors:

Established in 1990 and with subsidiaries in all Anglophone West African Countries and the United Kingdom, Guaranty Trust Bank has always keenly supported artistic expressions especially those of African origins in various parts of the world including music, painting, play, drama, poetry and exhibitions.  The bank has an art collection of over 800 paintings and sculptures, most of which are publicly displayed in its branches.
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