It’s International Museum Day (IMD) today May 18, 2017, an annual celebration coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
Organised on and around May 18 each year International Museum Day is celebrated because “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”
This year’s International Museum Day theme, “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museum”, highlights the essential role of museums as promoters of the free flow of ideas and knowledge, contributing to a more informed society.
Today, through the use of new technologies, museums play an essential role in providing access to culture and offer reflections of memories and representations of history.
Here are some of the museums around Nigeria that you can visit and appreciate in celebration of the International museum day.
Nigeria National Museum, Lagos
The Nigerian National Museum was founded in 1957 and it houses some remarkable collections of the country’s sculptures, arts, ethnographic and archaeological displays. So, if you’re in search of where you to find some historical statues and carvings and monuments, the Nigeria National Museum is a place to visit.
Esie Museum, Kwara state
Opened in 1945, Esie museum is adjudged to be the first museum in Nigeria. It is reputed to have the largest collection of soapstone images in the world. Currently, the Esie museum is being used for religious activities and it hosts a festival annually.
Benin City National Museum, Edo state
Located in Benin city (the city centre on King’s square), is a museum that houses quite a number of important and ancient artefacts related to the Benin Empire such as terracotta, cast iron samples and bronze pieces.
National Museum, Jos
Located somewhere close to the Jos Zoo in the heart of the city is the Jos Museum, founded in 1952. The museum offers collections such as Nok terracotta heads – sculptures dating as far back as 500 B. C and offers a whole lot on the prehistoric culture of Nigeria. Finely crafted pottery in the Pottery Hall and other collections used for mining in the olden days are some of the things you’ll find in here.
Owo Museum, Ondo state
Owo Museum was founded in 1968 and it houses royal artefacts, cultural artworks and old pieces. Due to its proximity to Ife and Benin, it houses lovely artefacts from both traditions.
Gidan Makama Museum, Kano state
This museum has 11 galleries that display several traditional Kanawa artefacts, musical instruments, pictures and materials. Gidan Makama Museum served as a palace and was built in the 15th century. The galleries were the rooms and courtyards of the old Makamas (Royal Lords) and depict the style of a traditional residence of a Kano aristocrat.
National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos state
Located in the National Art Theater at Iganmu, Lagos is a museum that personifies everything Nigerian. It showcases pictures of past Head of States of Nigeria, pictures of literary giants, contemporary arts, bronze works, modern sculpture, ceramics, glass painting and textile arts.
National War Museum, Umuahia
The National War Museum in Umuahia houses some of the mind-blowing relics of the country. Called a war museum because it has on display many of the equipment and craft that was used during the Nigerian Civil War. The relics of Enugu Coal Miner Riots and Aba Women Riot, The Ojukwu bunker as well as the famous local bombs called Ogbungwe.
Badagry Heritage Museum
This museum is made up of 8 galleries and is a home of different artefacts, records and culture of the Badagry people. The galleries are named after different periods of the slave era and contain items and records that date back to the pre-slave era, the slave era and the post-slave era.
National Museum, Kaduna
National Museum Kaduna houses the terracotta statutes, Benin bronzes and other ethnographic and archaeological artefacts too. There is also a traditional craft village that is also around this premise.
National Museum Abeokuta
This museum celebrates the rich history of Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun state and an evergreen Yoruba culture. It boasts of artefacts and records from the pre-colonial times, the colonial era and post-colonial times.