Monday, 20 May 2019

National Commission for Museums calls for private sector funding, collaboration

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments has called on the private sector to invest and collaborate  with the commission with a view to sustain, improve and conserve the cultural heritage of the country.

Acting Director General of the Commission, Alhaji Abdulkerim Kadiri, made the call on Monday in Calabar during the celebration of the 2019 International Museums Day which has the theme ``Museums as a Cultural Hubs'': The Future of Tradition.

 Kadiri, who was represented by the Curator of the Calabar Museum, Mrs Evelyn Osuagwu, said that the government cannot sustain the funding of the museum alone, hence the need for the private sector to invest in the growth of the museum.

``The private sector should be involved in the funding of the museum activities because through that it will go a long way to assist museum in its development.

``The private sector can help to fund our activities like exhibition, outreach programmes and others.

``The various challenges the institution faces can be surmounted if adequate commitment is demonstrated by all concerned,'' he said.

Kadiri said that the museum plays a vital role in the conservation and preservation of the nation's cultural heritage and historical artefacts.

He said that most of our traditions were going into extinction, adding that something urgent needed to be done to revive the sector.

He explained that the Museum does not only preserve and conserve our culture, but also showcases these cultures to the public using her educational service.

The Acting DG said that the International Museum Day was proposed and declared by the International Council on Museum in 1977 to appreciate the ingenuity of our fore-fathers by celebrating the Museum Day.

He further said that the strength of the museum lies solely in the `Richness of its cultural, historical and natural collections' which are dully passed unto us by our fore-fathers, preserved, well documented and exhibited for the generality of the public.

``Going by this year's theme, museums should be seen as a Central Bank for cultural properties and central point of cultural activities, where cultural heritage is projected and enjoyed.

Speaking, Prof. Joseph Okokon, Chairman of the occasion, said it was important for government at all levels and the private sector to collaborate in the funding of the museum, adding that the commission serves as a warehouse for historical literature.

Okokon, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Calabar, said the government was paying less attention to the upgrading and development of museums, saying that a dedicated effort should be made to develop the sector.