By Omoseebi Adefolake Christiana
Museum is a place or building where old things are kept and displayed. The word ‘Museum originates from a Greek word ‘Mouseion’ , it means ‘seat of the Muses’. It is designated a philosophical institution or a place of contemplation.
Museum is an institution dedicated to preserving and interpreting the primary tangible evidence of human kind and environment.
Museum is a non-profit permanent institution in the services of the society and its development, open to the public which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purpose of education, study and enjoyment.
Museum is so much important in a nation that it collects and preserves our objects and materials of religious, cultural and historical value. It also helps to preserve and promote our cultural heritage. It is a good source of entertainment and storehouse of old artefacts, sculptures, objects, history.
Museum is a good source of knowledge, main attraction for tourist and helps in research and study.
Museum is more relevant today than it has ever been because it has the power to reflect and shape our society.
Museums and galleries provide an insight into the history of human kind, the lessons we can learn from past events, wonders and tragedies are priceless especially in times of turmoil.
Many believe that museums have a role to play in giving us perspective to help the public re-establish the common ground and learn to build bridges rather than breed division.
Museums have the power to create unity at both social and political level and also on a local level. Local museums are able to provide a sense of community unity and celebrating a collective heritage. It offers a great way to get to know the history of a particular area.
Museums and other cultural institutions will always have a role to play in the education of future generations. From creating exhibitions targeted towards children to teaching children in a classroom environment, museums around the world are doing their bit to pass down knowledge.
Museums are doing this by including some related courses/topic in the school curriculum of these future generations to be learnt in their classrooms even up to University level. They are instilling morals, culture and values into them. Museums are just as important to the future as the future is to museum. Not only can our museums bring history to life, but they can also shine light on both the present and future.
Museums serve as a means of creating wealth for the nation because as the tourists come in for the sight seen, it creates means of income to different categories of people. For example, any means of transportation they use will get theirs, hotels/guest house will get theirs while those who sell one souvenir or the other will get theirs also.
Kenya is a good example of country that is making millions in tourists visitation to museums and centres.
Museum brings about exchange of cultural ideas between visiting countries. The positive social effect of museum is that it opens for Nationals of different countries to meet and share their different values. This brings about an improved international cooperation among nations while widening the mental horizons of travellers.
Exchange of cultural ideas help people to understand and appreciate the cultures of each other and also improves relationship between communities. This could lead to exchange of services, inter-tribal marriage, visits during festival period (e.g. Osun Osogbo festival, Olojo festival in Ile-Ife) and bring about peace and harmony among communities.
Private sectors can invest on the rural communities, especially in the areas that have tourist attractions by providing tourist facilities such as hotels, amusement parks, cultural centres, like private museum/craft shops, travel agencies, banks, information technology facilities. Provision of these infrastructures in localities would help in the development of such areas. So with this, museum generates investment and creates job for the populace and the social life of that community where the museum is located will be uplifted.
With all these points above, we can see that if Nigerian government takes care of museums and other tourist centres in the country, it will serve as a great development to this nation as many tourists from other countries will be eager to visit.
Christiana writes from National Museum, Akure