A Professor of Art History, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Clifford Nwanna has advocated for electronic museum in Africa to make them more viable and accessible.
Nwanna made the call on Monday in Enugu at an event to mark 2021 International Museum Day with the theme ‘The Future Museum; Recover and Re-imagine.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Enugu museum postponed their initial plan to mark the day due to Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 directive to limit number of persons in a gathering.
Nwanna said the impact of COVID-19 had reduced the potential of museums in Africa leaving them to adapt to new changes.
According to him, many countries of the world opted out for E-version of museum during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Most museum in the world people pay heavily to view art work but here, it is a different thing.
“As the pandemic set in, people pay and they were sent pictures and videos of the artifact they want to see electronically,” he said.
The professor said culture had changed from what it used to be and people now deal with intangible culture.
“If you want museum content like fish and shark, you do not need to go underwater but view them inside well built museum with water and fenced with glass.
“This has add value to museum artifacts and for museum to thrive people need to access it without encumbrances,” he said.
Nwana explained that most Europeans made away with African artifacts as an evidence to show they visited Africa and they were able to add value to it.
He lamented the lack of documentary evidence to trace the ownership and date of acquisition of most of the African artifacts.
“It become problematic to future museum when the artifacts are not properly label and categorized.
“The name of the maker is very important, be it individual or community that produced it,” he said.
Nwanna attributed security, environmental threats ans inadequate allocation of fund as the major challenge facing museum in the country.
He however, commended Enugu curator for organising the event, saying it would help the participants know their culture.
Earlier, the Curator, National Museum of Unity, John Kachikwu Enugu said the museum joined the entire global communities in appreciating the ingenuity of the forefathers.
According to him, they want to use the celebration to umake Nigeria museum tourist destination of excellence, education and entertainment.
Kachukwu noted that contemporary museum need extra roles to offer supplementary services to attract visitors.
“The museum provide facilities for teaching, lectures, symposia, debates and other varieties of services and this has given visitors opportunities to see artifacts produced in the country,” he said.
He appealed to government and other cultural stakeholders as well as corporate bodies to invest in museum and made them competitive like other museums in the world.
The event featured dance, drama and breaking of kola nut competition by students.