It was a special day in the history of National Commission for Museum and Monument (NCMM) recently when the commission briefed the press on activities to mark its 70 years of arts collection and preservation.
The event which was held at the Museum Centre Onikan, Lagos was graced by the Director General, and others, as well as cultural dance performances by the Unity Dance troupe.
The Director General of NCMM, Mallam Yusuf A. Usman, revealed during the media chat with Journalists that the press parley was to officially flag off the 70th anniversary of the commission in Nigeria, as well launch the marketing drive of the brochure for the celebration.
He encouraged corporate and institutional partnership for the event, calling for informed interest groups and the general public to back series of programmes packaged for the anniversary.
Mallam Yusuf stated that, “There is no way you can talk about culture without involving the people. It is who we are. It identifies people. Seventy years of existence in the life of any organization is long and worthy of celebrating.”
Asked if there was any landmark achievement to mark the anniversary, he replied, “The primary achievement is that we still exist as a body after 70 years. It is a greatest achievement. The purpose of the celebration is not to simply embark on a wild celebration or jubilation as the occasion calls for merry making, rather in the spirit of the time and mood of the new government”.
He revealed that the anniversary objectives were to bring to the attention of Nigerians the importance of the museum in Nigeria and enhancing awareness of relevance of the museum to our history, cultural heritage and national development as well as the landmark achievements of the museum and its gradual growth since the journey officially began in 1945.
He said that, to further enhance the museum activities in Nigeria, especially in the areas of conservation, preservation, presentation and promotion, research and joint projects and exhibition, the commission seeks greater cooperation with international partners; museums in Africa and other part of the world.
“We also wish to seek and foster greater cooperation with museum organization like West Africa Museum Programe (WAMP), African Council of Museum Programe, AFRICOM), International Council of Museum (ICOM), International Council of Museums, Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) etc, in our efforts at drawing benefits for our stolen and prudent culture properties around the world, ” Abdallah Usman added.
To chart a course for the future of the museum in Nigeria and seek ways of improving on its activities nationwide, Abdallah Usman suggested the opening of more museums and working strenuously to overcome its challenges.
He called for the renewing of awareness about roles museum plays in the society vis-a vis, the preservation of our cultural heritage, adding that national monuments and the exquisite works of arts of our fore-fathers, dating back into centuries in Nigeria, could only be found in museums.
He praised the management team of the commission for working assiduously to make the event possible, even as he equally expressed gratitude to members of the press for support and contributions over the years in the quest to bring the museums to an enviable standard.
The event is expected to feature an exhibition of over 70 iconic objects drawn from all Nigerian art traditions; from Dufuna to Nok, Ejagham to Calabar, Igbo Ukwu to Ife, Esie, Owo lower Niger-Tada, Benin and other living arts of Nigeria.