Museums Board asked to reclaim lands
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture Mr. Alexander Asum-Ahensan, has asked the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) to take steps to reclaim large tracts of land belonging to the board but are being encroached upon at Tamale, Bolgatanga and Wa.
He described the situation as threatening, adding that "if proper measures are not taken soon, we will lose everything". Mr Asum-Ahensan also asked the board to work assiduously to preserve and protect the country's cultural heritage for posterity.
"Your department is one of the most important ones within the ministry and Ghana has a lot to preserve and show to the outside world," he stated, and stressed the need to preserve all artifacts belonging to the country for future generations.
Mr Asum-Ahensan was speaking during a visit to the GMMB and the Museum for Science and Technology in Accra to acquaint himself with the activities of the board and work done so far on the Science Museum, which was started 38 years ago.
The minister said the ministry was in the process of forming the Board of Directors for the Museum, but was waiting for stakeholders to nominate their representatives.
He listened to complaints of personnel and some of the challenges they faced·in their activities, and assured them of his ministry's commitment to ensure that their conditions of service were improved.
The acting Director of the GMMB, Mr Joseph Prempeh Maisie, said the board would soon start a process of digitisation of all objects in the country's museum for easy access to information on them.
"The board is also taking steps to convert all the forts and castles in the country for re-use or link them in a way to the activities of the people within the communities where they are located," he announced, and pointed out that the board was in contact with international partners for books to stuff its library.
He disclosed that the Wa Na's palace in the Northern Region was also under reconstruction with funds from the partners.
Renovation work at the Cape Coast Castle, he noted, was also ongoing, while work on the Science Museum, which was initiated 38 years ago, was nearing completion.
On the activities of GMMB, Mr Maisie said the Museum undertook various exhibitions to depict the history and culture of Ghana and assisted young Ghanaian artists to exhibit their works.
Asked how they obtained their treasures, he said some were bought by the museum, others were intercepted by security agencies at the country's borders, while others were voluntarily donated to the museum.
According to him, the Education Department often organised outreach programmes and lectures in schools and assisted students from tertiary institutions conducting· research into museums in the country.
The Monuments Department, he indicated, saw to the conservation and maintenance of all monuments including the forts. Among the challenges facing the board, Mr Maisie said, was their inability to re-train professionals.
The officials later visited the Science and Technology Museum where the consultant for the project, Wing Captain.Patrick N. Sogbodjor (rtd), took them round the facility.