Stakeholders Urge Increased Investments In Museums To Promote History, Culture

The Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, has called for more investments in museums to ensure the preservation and promotion of history and cultural heritage for future generations.

Olatunji-Bello, represented by her Deputy (Administration), Prof. Adenike Boyo, made the call at the celebration of International Museum Day organised by the LASU Centre for Museum and African Heritage.

The event was held on Saturday at the Ojo Campus of LASU.

International Museum Day is celebrated every May 18 to raise awareness about the fact that museums are a crucial means of cultural exchange, development of mutual understanding, and promoting peace and cooperation among individuals.

This year’s celebration had the theme:  “Museum for Education and Research”.

The vice-chancellor said that more investments in museums would be an opportunity for people to learn something new and continue to fulfil their missions.

“It will also help to put an end to the trafficking of cultural artefacts.

“International Museum Day has supported some of the United Nations Sustainable Developmental Goals.

“In 2024, the focus will be on ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all,” Olatunji-Bello said.

She added that museums provided opportunities for cultural exchange and, therefore, made positive impacts on contemporary society.

“The curated stories and artefacts found in the museums expand our awareness, helping us to be more welcoming to people who may have different cultural backgrounds from us.

“Preserving and understanding the story is vital if we are to progress as the kind of compassionate and understanding society that we all hope for,” Olatunji-Bello added.

Princess Surah Animashaun, the Chairman of Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State, said that the celebration was important for the promotion of the role of museums in cultural exchange and development.

Animashaun said that the theme underscored the important role of cultural institutions in providing an all-inclusive educational experience while striving to ensure a sustainable and inclusive world.

“It is imperative to acknowledge the importance of museums because they serve as dynamic educational hubs that foster curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.

“LASU Centre of Museums and African Heritage deserves great commendation for the provision of adequate space and functional facilities for the collection of cultural artefacts.

“It will be fundamentally used for preservation, conservation, exhibition, display, research and documentation that have helped in enriching our history, as well as celebrating our collective heritage,” she said.

Dr Habeeb Sanni, Acting Director, Directorate of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, LASU, identified interpreting and communicating the history of Lagos to the public as a key aspect of the impact of museums on the state.

Sanni said that through exhibitions, guided tours and educational programmes, museums offer a deeper understanding of Lagos history, highlighting key events, figures and cultural practices that had shaped the city.

“This helps to foster a sense of pride and identity among the people of Lagos and promotes cultural exchange and tourism.

“Museums in Lagos face challenges such as limited funding, inadequate infrastructure and lack of public awareness.

“However, there are opportunities for museums to expand their reach and impacts through digital initiatives, partnerships with other institutions, and community engagement programmes,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that students from some secondary schools in Lagos State participated in the celebration with cultural displays and debates on the roles of museums in education.

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