Derefaka Lists Contributions Of Museum To National Dev

Derefaka Lists Contributions Of Museum To National Dev

By Mercy Adeniji


As the world marked this year's International Museum Day with the theme: Museum plus Creativity equals Social Change, held  last week, Director, Institute of Niger Delta Studies, Professor Ebi Derefaka, has stressed  the importance of   Museums to historical development and the need for a befitting Museum in the Institute to properly showcase works of art.

Speaking with UNIPORT Weekly, in his office, last Monday, Professor Derefaka, said the International Council of  Museum (ICOM) established  the International Museum Day in 1977  to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, adding that emphasis has been on how to educate the public about the rich heritage of the people. He referred to the theme of the day as a form of equation which gathers several concepts that are essential to defining what a Museum can contribute to national development.

“Museums are established to house material objects, as well as non-material aspects of culture in order to preserve the heritage of a people”, he said, pointing out the different types of Museum which include the historical Museum, deal with contemporary art, ethnographic materials and music, among others. 


The Director explained that the Museum offers opportunity to students to learn more about the past. “Our History students are exposed to cultural resource management, aimed at preparing them to work in Museums, Arts and Cultural establishment in the State and the National Museums”, he said, stating that the Museum has the capacity to reflect both continuity and change, to preserve and protect cultural and natural heritage, as well as provide benefits to the society as sources of national, regional and local identities.

“In University of Port Harcourt, we have an Archaeological Museum, which houses materials for research, but it has grown into an archaeological, ethnographic and history Museum, focused mainly on research and not so much on exhibition. The holdings of the University Museum include materials obtained from archaeological context, as well as ethnographic and historical objects and photographs”, Professor Derefaka disclosed.

He expressed satisfaction with the work done at the Department of Fine Arts and Design, stating that the works of the Fine Artist, whether sculpture, painting or textile are very important in terms of growing the collections of the University Museum. He pointed out that the idea of a specialised Museum which focuses on textile is also very important.

The Director recalled that during the maiden History Week, the Institute invited some Akwete weavers to demonstrate how the cloth is woven and how best to set up a Museum in Akwete to celebrate their craft. “At the Institute of Niger Delta Studies, we are interested in encouraging the development of specialized Museums that would preserve textile heritage and some Akwete elites are also interested in working with us”, he said, explaining that just as the Ghanaians have the Kente,  Nigeria also has  the Akwete, which should be promoted in the global community.

You are here: Home News & Events Featured News Derefaka Lists Contributions Of Museum To National Dev