From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
The Institute of African Studies University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) has announced that it would hold conference to commemorate this year’s International Museum Day, as well to educate people on how important it is to visit and support museums.
Prof. Florence Orabueze, the Director of the Institute disclosed this in Nsukka on Saturday while briefing newsmen on this year’s International Museum Day coming up on May 18, 2021, with the theme: “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimaging.”
She said that the International Council of Museums (ICOM) had in 1977 set out a day where museums around the world could promote their role in the community, as they are such a crucial source of education, and what connects people to their past and history.
According to her ” One of ICOM’s goals is to support the global museum community and to protect objects of cultural heritage, that preserve history and are significant for different cultures.
“This year, the Institute of African Studies, UNN for the first time will on Tuesday 18th May, 2021 be celebrating the International Museum Day.
“The event shall serve as an opportunity to create awareness and showcase the artifacts in the Institute’s Museum and to raise public awareness on the role Museums play in the development of the society,” she said.
She equally said that “the event shall feature at Keynote Address on ‘Museum and the Public in the 21st Century’ by Prof. Pat Okpoko Deputy Vice chancellor Administration, UNN.
“Prof Cliff Nwanna, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Science Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka will present the Lead-Paper on ‘Museum in Context: Tradition and Innovation.”
Orabueze also said that Prof. Charles Igwe, the Vice Chancellor of the University will be the Chief Host, under the distinguished chairmanship of Prof. Romanus Ezeokonkwo of faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UNN,” she said.
The Director who decried African artifacts stolen by the western countries, however, urged Federal Government to put measures in place that will enable foreign countries who took away some Nigeria artifacts and monuments to repatriate them.
“It was unfortunate that some of the country’s cultural artifacts and monuments that were taken away by colonial masters were still in many museums in Europe.
“Government should put measures in place that will enable these countries to return artifacts and monuments taken away from the country during colonial era.
“These artifacts and monuments that show rich cultural heritage of Nigeria are generating huge revenue for these countries museums as tourists around the globe visit them on daily basis.
“Some of these artifacts and monuments are from different parts of Nigeria especially the ancient Benine city in Delta State,” she said.
Also, Rev. Fr. Chidubem Nwaogaidu, the Local Organizing Committee Chairman of the conference said that that event will feature exhibition of Artifacts and Art works by the Institute’s Museum, Department of Archeology and Tourism UNN and Department of Fine & Applied Arts UNN.
Nwaogaidu added that “the day will afford the Institute the opportunity to reevaluate our culture and correct the impression that most of our cultural artifacts are fetish.”
He stated further that the institute was mobilising the university community and general public for this year’s International Museum Day so that they will know more about mesuems, monuments and the need to preserve artifacts around them.