Prof. Adisa Ogunfola, a Professor of Research and Archeology, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), has called on the Federal Government to preserve artefacts in Nigerian museums.

Ogunfola made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, to commemorate the International Museums Day.

He said his recent visit to some museums in Nigeria revealed that Nigerian museums were not receiving enough attention and support from government.

The don said that if Nigerian museums were not properly maintained with the provision of basic infrastructures, the artefacts in those museums stood the risk of being damaged.

He noted that the Federal Government must ensure uninterrupted power supply to these museums, to create conducive environment for the preservation of the artefacts.

According to him, temperature swings can affect the materials greatly.

“Government has huge role to play in the preservation of our artefacts and ensuring that Nigerian museums attract good number of local and international tourists.

“It is unfortunate that government has not realised that museums could be positioned to be money spirals.

“Like the museum in Lagos, there is no light, no air conditioning gadgets and some other needed infrastructures. I felt so bad looking at the galleries not well lighted, such cannot attract tourists.

“We have more than enough artefacts, monoliths, antiquities and monuments but government needs to focus on maintaining the museums and the materials in them,” he said.

Ogunfola noted that one of the reasons museums were not valued in Nigeria, is because many believe they are only abodes to idols.

To correct this notion, he said the museums accommodate treasured historical materials, which are useful for research purposes, education and entertainment.

He said, to reposition the museums to function optimally, government must engage the services of individuals with professional expertise, to work in museums and not novices.

“The museum is the place to learn and appreciate nation’s culture as well as nature, but it is so sad that we have many of the staff of the museums who do not understand their work.

“The working condition for the staff must be improved so that they can discharge their duties optimally”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Museum Day is celebrated every year on May 18.

This is to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people.”

The theme for the 2024 IMD is “Museums for Education and Research”.

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