The National Commission For Museums and Monuments (NCMM), on the 27th May, 2014, marked the 2014 Joint International Day for Monuments and Sites and International Museum Day at the Main Hall of the Barcelona Hotel, Wuse II, Abuja.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director-General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman, reiterated the need for Nigeria’s monuments and heritage sites to be properly conserved and protected for social, political, economic and cultural development of the society, saying that, “Many monuments are linked to historic bearing; educational or social values but do not yet enjoy proper protection and recognition. Some of these monuments which have become important icons of our development are often neglected or poorly conserved.”
Mallam Usman said since the day was meant to highlight the importance and contributions of NCMM, “The Commission has put up a pictorial exhibition on our museums and monuments from across the political zones of Nigeria to facilitate their conservation and management in their respective different locations and offer opportunity for increased public consciousness about our national patrimony.”
The International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on the 18th April, 1982, and approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1983, with the aim of promoting awareness about diversity of vulnerability of the World’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them.
Speaking on the two themes for the 2014 joint commemoration: “Heritage of Commemoration” and “Museums Collections make Connections,” the DG said the choice of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) theme was partly inspired by the centennial in 2014 of the beginning of the Great War of 1914-1918, while that of International Council on Museum (ICOM) was to remind the world that Museums were living institutions that help to create relationships between the collections, visitors, generations and their cultures around the World.
Usman therefore called on government at all levels, communities and stakeholders, to support the Commission for the realisation of its set goals and objectives of preservation and conservation of heritage for humanity.
Three journals, NCMM Museum Digest, Vol.1/2013, NCMM International Day for Monuments and Sites Journal Vol.1/2013, and NCMM International Museum Day Journal Vol.1/2013, from papers presented at the 2013 International Monument and Museum Day Celebration, all geared towards sensitising the public on the importance of these international events, were unveiled by the Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke.
Dignitaries in attendance included the Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Dr. Munzali Dantata; Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, represented by Assistant Director, Administration and Human Resources, Mrs. Jane Anigala; Director-General of National Gallery of Art (NGA), Alhaji Abdullahi Muku, represented by the Deputy Director, Information and Technology, Mr. Magnus Ojeanu; Executive Director, National Council for Arts and Culture(NCAC), Mr M.M. Maidugu, represented by the Deputy Director, Performing Arts Department, Mallam Denja Abdullahi.
The Pictorial Exhibition of Nigeria’s heritage sites and monuments by NCMM and a cultural performance by the FCT Cultural Troupe brought the 2014 International Museums and Monuments Day celebration to a close.
Njideka Justina Dimgba
Corporate Affairs NICO