The Bishop Museum is testing the authenticity of a kii that was gifted to them. The statue is on display in the “Kini ke Kua: Transformative Images” exhibit. The kii was donated to the museum by tech billionaire Mark Benioff. According to a New York Times article he paid more than $7 million for it at auction, as it was listed at being more than 200 years old.
Now there are questions regarding its authenticity.
“The biggest question is when was the kii made and who made it and for what purpose. And I think that is something that has been the focus of the questions. Because we don’t have the full provenance of the piece,” said Bishop Museum President & CEO Melanie Ide.
The Bishop Museum is doing testing, but so far has not been able to pinpoint an exact date of when the kii was made. But the museum says it’s still an important way for the public to learn about the importance of kii and the cultural practice of carving.