New Telegraph

MOWAA To Create World-Class Arts, Heritage Complex In Edo

The art and culture industry in Nigeria at the weekend received a boost from the coming of the Museum of West African Art, Edo (MOWAA), which restates its resolve to create world-class art, culture, and heritage complex in Benin City, Edo State

The management of MOWAA (a nongovernmental, non-profit making organization, promoting West African Arts and culture), while briefing journalists after its 3 Days Open Day in Benin City, said its world-class Pavilion, when completed will be a center for education and
research.

Ms Ore Disu, Director of the Pavilion, Research and Collections said, the first Open Day event which was held on the site of the Pavilion, their first building dedicated to research and conservation in Benin City, hopes to upgrade conservation efforts in Nigeria, ensuring that any construction work that could damage surviving remains are properly protected and training specialists to professionalize heritage practice.

“The Museum of West African Art, Edo (MOWAA) is proud to announce their first Open Day event which was held on the site of the Pavilion, their first building dedicated to research and conservation in Benin City.

“MOWAA hopes to upgrade conservation efforts in Nigeria, ensuring that any construction work that could damage surviving remains are properly protected and training specialists to professionalize heritage practice.”

She stated that the three-day event was to provide informative tours of the future Pavilion centre and educate visitors on the benefits it will offer the city in terms of investment, jobs, and educational opportunities.

She said.”We are thrilled to open our doors to the community. This Open Day is also a platform to foster a deeper understanding of the importance of archaeology in preserving our cultural legacy and sharing some of our exciting discoveries.

“We are excited to get more cultural practitioners and residents in touch with the Pavilion’s work, which is already proving to be a dynamic space for research, education, and community outreach.

“None of this would be possible without our local and international partners, who are as committed as we are to serving communities in Nigeria.”

“Eager to contribute to the education and development in Edo State, MOWAA has already begun delivering programmes, three of which were showcased during the Open Day.

“These projects are in partnership with the National Commission of Museums and Monuments, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the British Museum, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Wessex Archaeology, and the Open Society Foundation.

“The event also displayed ongoing outreach activities with local schools and community stakeholders undertaken since September 2022.

“The event showcased a series of archaeological studies carried out before the construction in partnership with the British Museum and close collaboration with the National Commission of Museums and Monuments.

“These institutions have been supporting the local homegrown archaeological team to preserve remains that could be lost or damaged during the building process as well as educating volunteers from the University of Benin.” She concluded.

Also, speaking, Phillip Ihenacho, Director of EMOWAA Trust, said. “We have decided to update our brand identity to emphasize our focus. So going forward we will use the Museum of West African Art, Edo (MOWAA).

This signifies a new chapter for our organization. We have already been approached by organisations in West Africa about potential collaborations.

In the future, we hope to establish other centres of creativity and learning across Nigeria and beyond to grow our global presence.”

The event witnessed a turnout of other NGOs, students, artists, artisans, community groups, and curious residents. Representatives from the National Commission of Museum and Monuments (NCMM), the Archaeological Association of Nigeria, the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the Universities of Benin and Ibadan were also in attendance.

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