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Ex-Museum curator seeks adequate funding of institution

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Mrs Ronke Ashaye, former curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) Lagos delivering her speech during the cultural fiesta

 

Mrs Ronke Ashaye, former curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Lagos has urged the Federal Government to ensure proper funding of museums across the country.

 

Ashaye made the call during a Cultural Fiesta organised at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos on Wednesday.

 

The curator said that museums across the country especially the Lagos branch were in dilapidated state due to lack of maintenance and adequate funding.

 

She advised that the museums should be made to operate independently away from the Federal Ministry of Culture and be converted to centres of historical, archaeological and anthropological studies.

 

Ashaye said this would help museums function well adding that museums had been neglected over the years.

 

“There is need for the government to pay greater attention to museums in order to empower it to fulfill its mandate.

 

“Government has not given the necessary support to this institution and it needs to give culture its pride of place.

 

“There should be a complete overhaul of this great institution to ensure that they are properly placed on a sound footing and this will require that museums in Nigeria be removed from the supervision of the culture ministry.

 

“Museums should be turned into centres of historical, archeological and anthropological excellence where they will be effective in regulating, supervising and complementing the efforts of other tertiary and relevant institutions.

 

“These should be done to enable our museums compete favourably with those in the International community; it is a unique institution that should stand on its own.

 

“Each time I remember the state of these museums, I weep because this is an institution I gave 35 years of my life from 1978 to 2012,” she said.

 

Also, Mrs Omotayo Adeboye, Curator, National Museum, Lagos, encouraged everyone to embrace and uphold every aspect of nation’s culture in dressing, language, cuisine, dance and all.

 

She said the aim of the cultural fiesta was to celebrate nation’s cultural heritage, educate Nigerians on the essence of embracing culture and imbibing the spirit of love and unity.

 

According to her, the programme was also to preach unity and encourage Nigerians to stand united in the face of cultural diversity that existed.

 

“We are showcasing nation’s cultural aspects that are put together to celebrate a child at birth into a family unit which is the bedrock of the communities which when put together constitute the ethnic groupings.

 

“We want everyone to know that we are all one, regardless of our ethnic and cultural differences, let us all live in love and peace,” she said.

 

Mr Biodun Omolayo, Managing Director, Omolayo Art Gallery, urged museum staff to work tirelessly in ensuring people visit the museum to learn from its huge historical knowledge.

 

He advised the museum management to expand the scope of the annual cultural fiesta for people to be constantly kept abreast of nation’s rich culture and encourage them to embrace such.

 

Omolayo urged the museum management to create a point at the airport to bring people into the museum to benefit from its huge historical knowledge.

 

“This is an avenue to celebrate nation’s cultural values so I urge the museum to encourage and uphold the cultural fiesta to educate the youths and adults more.

 

“The museum should have a suggestion box in which they can get feedback and suggestions from the staff and public on moving the museum forward,” he said.

 

Nigeria News Agency reports that the members of staff were adorned in different indigenous attires, beads and other body adornments to depict the various ethnic groups the nation was blessed with.

 

Edited & Vetted By: Dorcas Jonah/Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

Foreign

Spanish Ministry of Culture to open museums on June 9

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The Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport confirmed on its official website on Thursday that the museums and art galleries under its jurisdiction will be open to the public from June 9 as another sign of the progress Spain is making in halting the spread of the coronavirus.

Entry to these galleries and museums will be free of charge for individuals or family groups until July 31, although group visits will not be permitted until the end of the process of easing restrictions.

The ministry explains that all of the temporary exhibitions that had to be closed due to the lockdown imposed on Spain on March 15, will be extended.

Museums will also introduce special routes to ensure that social distancing measures can be observed.

Among the museums and art galleries affected by this measure are the national Archeological Museum, the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Sorolla Museum and Museum of the Americas in Madrid, the Museum of Roman Art in Merida, southeast Spain, and the Museums of Altamira in Santillana del Mar in northern Spain and the House of Cervantes in Valladolid.

Cultural activities are slowly returning to Spain after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, with the three most famous art galleries in Madrid — the Prado National Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, which make up the “golden mile” of art in the Spanish capital, all due to reopen on June 6, while the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in northern Spain reopened on June 1 with a limit of 400 visitors at any one time.

(XINHUA)

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Russia to reopen museums, cinemas in mid-July

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Russia is to reopen its museums and cinemas, currently closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in the middle of July, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said Tuesday.

“Culture will gradually return to normal with strict observance of safety measures,” Chernyshenko said at a news briefing, adding that the exact dates of reopening will differ from region to region, depending on the epidemiological situation.

Museum employees have already begun to return to work, though visitors will only be permitted after a preparatory phase of 90 days, the minister said.

As for cinemas, the strictest compliance with anti-virus safety measures, such as social distancing and use of personal protective equipment, should be ensured, Chernyshenko said.

Theaters and concert halls will reopen during the final stage of restrictions being lifted, which is expected to happen in the fall, he added.

(XINHUA)

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National Museum and National Gallery of Australia reopen after COVID-19 closure

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The National Museum of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia reopened on Tuesday, more than two months after they closed amid concern of COVID-19.

The move followed a further ease of coronavirus restrictions by the Australian Capital Territory government last Friday.

“We are excited to be able to lift the covers off the art and once again share our collection and exhibitions with everyone,” said National Gallery Director Nick Mitzevich.

“Art has been a salvation for many people in these uncertain times and we know immersion in art and culture will play an important role in bringing our local and national community back together,” he said. “I am delighted the National Gallery will again be open to the Australian public to provide inspiration, joy and the opportunity for reflection.”

Safety measures are taken which include timed entry, a 20-person limit in galleries, sanitizer stations throughout the building, additional cleaning and the closure of small exhibition spaces.

Visitors to the National Gallery will be asked to pre-register and provide their contact number, which will be used should contact tracing be required.

Similar social-distancing restrictions are imposed by the National Museum as well.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still amongst us, the health and safety of our visitors and staff remain a priority,” said National Museum director Mathew Trinca in a statement.

“The power of ideas, objects and history to nourish our lives and help us make sense of our experiences underlies the work of the Museum and we look forward to re-connecting with you in person and sharing our collection and exhibitions,” he said.

The National Museum of Australia will showcase an exhibition about the landing of research vessel, the Endeavor, at east coast of Australia by Captain James Cook 250 years ago. It was scheduled to open in April, before lockdown was announced.

The exhibition was originally supposed to finish on October 11, but according to the Canberra Times, the museum might extend it.

The National Library of Australia will open on Wednesday for pre-booked ticketed access. Access is limited to 20 readers per session, and there are two sessions per day between Monday and Friday.

(XINHUA)

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Hotels, archaeological sites and museums reopen in Cyprus

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Hotels, archaeological sites, museums and public libraries in Cyprus resumed operation on Monday in a further easing of restrictions imposed after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.

Hotels will currently care for local guests, as there is a complete absence of foreign visitors who are not expected to start arriving before June 9, when flights are expected to resume with 19 countries considered by Cypriot authorities to be relatively safe as COVID-19 is concerned.

Most of the hotels are offering big discounts, but have announced on their websites that accommodation will not be available before June 20.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said hotel operation and visits to archaeological sites and museums will be regulated in all cases by health protocols, such as observing social distancing and personal hygiene requirements.

The new relaxations are part of the second phase of moves to return to normality introduced since May 21, as authorities plan the application of new measures in the context of the third stage, which will signal a return to large scale economic activity.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Kousios said the third phase will give a boost to the economy as airports, shopping malls and department stores are scheduled to reopen on June 9.

President Nicos Anastasiades is scheduled to meet the scientific team advising the government on the pandemic on Tuesday to set final conditions under which the third phase will be introduced. Decisions are expected to receive final approval at a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday.

(XINHUA)

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Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna reopens

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Visitors visit the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna, Austria, May 30, 2020. As one of the most famous museums in the world, Kunsthistorisches museum reopened on Saturday after a lockdown. Visitors are required to wear masks and keep distance when visiting the museum. (Photo by Georges Schneider/Xinhua)

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Madrid’s famed museums to reopen in early June

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Madrid’s famed museums — the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, which were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March — will reopen their doors to the public on June 6, the Ministry of Culture and Sports said Thursday in a statement.

The re-opening would go ahead “if the sanitary conditions permit,” the statement said.

The ministry said that “each museum has designed a specific plan to manage its reopening,” although they will all share several features to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The three museums, which between them make up what is known as the “Golden Mile” of art in the Spanish capital, have been preparing to reopen by putting up transparent shields to protect workers in areas of attention to the public and also designing routes to ensure that visitors all move in the same direction and facilitate social distancing.

They will also have different doors for entry and exit to help maintain the flow of visitors, while protective face-masks and hydro-alcoholic hand gels will be obligatory for anyone wishing to see the Prado’s famous works by artists such as Goya and Velazquez, or Pablo Picasso‘s “Guernica” which is housed in the Reina Sofia.

Madrid is currently in Phase 1 of the Spanish government’s four-stage plan to relax the restrictions put into place in March to contain the coronavirus.

Although museums and art galleries could, in theory, open their doors at 30 percent capacity, many have preferred to wait until June when Madrid will hopefully have progressed to Phase 2 and their capacity will be increased.

(XINHUA)

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Italy’s major museums hatching plans for post-lockdown period

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Italian leading museums and cultural sites are laying down plans for post-lockdown phase these days, according to strict safety protocols to avoid coronavirus contagion, and hoping in a new relationship with visitors.

The Italian government set May 18 as the first possible day for them to open their doors again since early March, yet many are still in a preparatory stage, while others decided for a gradual restart.

In the capital, Rome’s major Capitoline Museum on Tuesday welcomed their first visitors, who were allowed to enter only after having their temperature measured by scanners and their hands sanitized at the entrance.

To enjoy the Capitoline’s varied art collection, they also had to respect social distancing inside, as required by the protocols.

One section of another prominent Italian museum, the Boboli Gardens of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence will reopen on Thursday.

“The Gardens are a true open air museum … with its extraordinary botanic heritage, and an architectural landscape hosting a collection of some 300 statues of classical, Renaissance and Baroque periods,” the Uffizi Direction stated in announcing the date.

The main Uffizi Gallery — hosting priceless artworks by masters such as Giotto, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt — will restart in a second phase, no official date yet set.

And Director Eike Schmidt stressed there would be “no triumphalism” once reopened.

“Culture and visual arts play a fundamental role for human beings, as such it is right to reopen museums,” Schmidt told Xinhua in an interview.

“Yet, the months ahead will still require sobriety, for the human losses suffered by the families and by the whole country.”

Stretching over some 13,000 square meters, the Uffizi was “privileged compared to smaller museums” in terms of capacity to adapt to safety protocols, according to the director.

Beside, it underwent rearrangements recently that would now help provide visitors a high-quality visit while ensuring their safety at the same time.

“One example is the room housing Botticelli’s works: once, it had one entrance and one exit only, and paintings were very close to each other… it would have been extremely hard to implement social distancing and manage the flows in this situation,” Schmidt explained.

“Thanks to the rearrangements, once we restart, it will be instead quite easy to allow 15-20 visitors in front of the major works, and have them respect the right safety distance.”

In northern Milan, Renaissance Maestro Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper — one of the most famous paintings in the world — will also reopen in a later phase.

Hosted in the Dominican Church and Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, not far from the bustling city center, the ancient masterpiece is the first and most relevant among Italy’s cultural sites enlisted by UNESCO as World Heritage.

Emanuela Daffra, director of Lombardy Region Museum Pole to which the Last Supper belongs, said they might be ready for June 3, although they could not yet put it as an official date.

The hall housing the Last Supper is relatively small, and due to the great fragility of the work, it requires only small numbers inside at the same time. Some 35-40 visitors were allowed every 15 minutes before the pandemic, but now, when reopened, “we have decided to let only 5 people enter at a time,” the director said.

She stressed the next phase will also require them, as every museum’s management, to develop a different relationship with their own visitors.

“Forecasts are difficult to make now, yet in the short term we expect to mostly have visitors from Milan and the surrounding Lombardy region, and later from the other Italian regions once allowed (from June 3),” Daffra told Xinhua in an interview.

“They may be approached in a different way, more intimate and confidential, compared to foreign visitors.”

Yet, she pointed out foreign visitors will be crucial for the future of Italian museums in the medium term. “In this perspective, we will have to focus on intercultural knowledge even more than before,” Daffra suggested.

(XINHUA)

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Cambodia to reopen museums in June after no new COVID-19 cases detected

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Cambodia will reopen all museums in June after the Southeast Asian country has detected no new COVID-19 infections for more than a month, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.

In a letter sent to Culture Minister Phoeurng Sackona on Tuesday and released to the media on Wednesday, Bunheng said Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen approved the reopening of the museums last week.

All museums in Cambodia are allowed to reopen for national and international guests from June 2020 onwards, he said.

To avoid the risks of new COVID-19 infections, Bunheng advised all museums to follow health and hygiene measures by screening visitors body temperature, providing them with alcohol or antibacterial gel for handwashing, and keeping social distancing among them.

He added that both museum staff and visitors must wear face masks and any visitors, who have health issue or are suspected of contracting the virus, will not be allowed to enter the museums.

The reopening of the museums, which has been shuttered since March 18, came after the kingdom has reported no new COVID-19 cases since April 12, and all 122 COVID-19 patients in the country have recovered.

(XINHUA)

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Museum Day: Curator tasks stakeholders on heritage preservation

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2020) As the world marks the International Museum Day, the Acting Curator, National Museum of Unity, Ibadan, Mrs Comfort Akinmeji, has urged all stakeholders to be actively involved in the preservation of cultural heritage.

Akinmeji made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Ibadan.

She urged individuals and government at all levels to be committed to the maintenance and development of cultural heritage, saying this would yield the expected high national income.

Akinmeji said the museum plays an important role in the development of culture, tourism sectors being the custodian of Nigerian cultural artifacts.

According to her, the museum safeguards monuments and sites as well as artifacts for future generations as handed down in full richness of their authenticity.

“These exhibits must be maintained, protected for people today and for posterity because people without historical references are people without pride of identity.

“Their maintenance makes them to be tourist attractions and helps to generate income for the government and the communities where they belong.

“The International Museum Day is set aside by the International Council for Museums as a vehicle of cultural exchange, enrichment and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among the people of the world.

“Objects on exhibition in museums have messages, information for audience hence, the key factor that links the past with the present through functions of the exhibits,” she said.

Akinmeji said the significance of this year’s theme, ‘Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion’, was in the fact that it highlighted the place of museum in every culture. 

(
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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