20th May, 2011
Mr. Sunday Adaka, the Curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Cross River, has said that a slave history museum would soon be established in Calabar.
Adaka disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the occasion of the International Museum Day Celebration in Calabar.
According to him, Calabar is among the five specialised museums to be established by the Federal Government in strategic locations in the country.
â€œThe Museum Commission in Nigeria is trying to see how they can set up specialised museums because what we have presently, is just Museum of Iconography where they display all kind of activities.
He explained that a museum is not only a place where old things are kept but also a storage for artifacts that reflect the culture and history of a people.
Adaka described this yearâ€™s International Museum Day celebrationâ€™s theme which is â€œMuseum and Memoriesâ€ as apt as it was devoted to the past and its memories.
â€œWe want to bring to the people and tell the story about their memory when they visit museum; the celebration was also set aside for people to reflect on the activities of museums.
â€œIt is also a day set aside to create programmes for the communities to know what they are doing,â€ Adaka said.
He explained that the establishment of the specialised museums would promote beliefs, religions, culture and ways of life of the people.
â€œIt will also serve as rallying point for communities to better embrace their culture and religion as this will go a long way in appreciating the similarity and differences as a means of engendering religious tolerance,â€ he said.
According to the curator, other specialised museums to be established are the museum of Christian Missionary Activities in Nigeria in Calabar, the Islamic Art Museum, Ilorin, the National History Museum, Jos, and the Museum of Nok Civilization in Kaduna.
He further said that an oil museum that has to do with everything concerning petroleum and mineral resources would also be established.
Adaka said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had established a money museum in Abuja that has to do with the nationâ€™s currency from the period of colonisation up to the naira.
Adaka said that the commission was working to restore Chief Ekpo Bassey House as a national monument to accommodate the proposed Calabar Museum, adding that the national museum, when established, would boost tourism in the state.
He said that efforts would be made to ensure that the museum served as a rallying point for Africans in the Diaspora to better embrace their cultural heritage.