U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs, Aruna Amirthanayagam, presenting a certificate of
completion to one of the workshop participants, watched by Professor Buratai, Dean, Faculty of Arts, representing the V.C. of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Malam Yusuf Abdallah, Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). Embassy Photo by Nengak Daniel Gondyi
On June 2, 2017, museum curators from across Nigeria completed a two-week workshop hosted by the National Museum in Jos, to improve the conditions of museum storage areas and access to Nigeria’s important collections. Supported through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, the “RE-Org Nigeria: Saving Museum Collections” workshop included participants from ten national and two university museums.
A major highlight of the official closing ceremony of the workshop was the opening of a temporary exhibition,Hidden Treasures of Jos Museum, which features 19 never-before-seen objects from around Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Mr. Aruna Amirthanayagam recalled that on February 12, 2017 the United States Embassy in Abuja announced a $116, 000 grant to RE-ORG Nigeria through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
He said, “We are hopeful that this grant will help to enhance the knowledge of professionals in this field, improve the storage, display, and preservation of museum collections across Nigeria, preserve and promote Nigeria’s diversity, and reignite public interest in museums.”
With this training, the curators will return to their museums to begin implementing the RE-ORG methodology to improve collections storage and display as part of a saving Nigerian museum collections project.
RE-ORG Nigeria is the joint initiative of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, the Ahmadu Bello University, and the International Centre for the Study of the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), funded by the Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja.
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation supports projects in more than 100 developing countries around the world. Projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.