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U.S. Mission celebrates successful completion of cultural preservation project in Nigeria

The workshops aimed to enhance preservation of Nigerian historic artifacts by imparting advanced storage, documentation, and treatment techniques

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The U.S. Mission marked the successful conclusion of the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project, titled “Sustaining a Partnership in Conservation and Preservation,” a collaborative effort between the National Museum, Lagos, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

As part of this initiative, the Yale University Gallery of Art organized two conservation training workshops in Lagos for conservators from the National Museum and staff from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. The workshops aimed to enhance the preservation of Nigerian historic artifacts by imparting advanced storage, documentation, and treatment techniques.

Led by conservators from the Yale University Art Gallery and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, the Lagos workshops provided valuable training to Nigerian museum conservators. Additionally, several Nigerian conservators received further training in the United States at the Yale University Art Gallery.

General Manager/CEO of National Theatre Complex, Professor Sunday Enessi Ododo; Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Professor Abba Issa Tijani; U.S. Consul General Will Stevens with a National Museum Lagos conservator during an exhibition marking the completion of the AFCP project in Lagos.

During an exhibition in Lagos to commemorate the project’s completion, U.S. Consul General Will Stevens emphasized the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting the preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage through initiatives like AFCP and other collaborative mechanisms.

Consul General Stevens stated, “The United States has been unwavering in its commitment to protect and preserve Nigeria’s cultural heritage and rich diversity. I am looking forward to many more opportunities like this to strengthen our combined efforts in the future.”

Julie McKay, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, highlighted that the project strengthened the U.S.-Nigeria partnership in cultural preservation by facilitating workshops that mutually benefited the National Commission for Museums and Monuments and American museum professionals.

“In addition to capacity building, we have a Cultural Property Agreement in place with Nigeria, signed in January 2022, that protects Nigeria’s antiquities by prohibiting their import into the United States,” added McKay.

Professor Abba Issa Tijani, Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, emphasized the positive impact of AFCP projects across Nigerian museums. He highlighted the project’s role in fostering a two-way exchange between Nigerian and American wood conservators.

James Green, Curator of African Art at the Yale University Gallery of Art, expressed that the project facilitated the exchange of ideas between Nigerian and U.S. conservators on advanced conservation techniques. Green acknowledged the generous support of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, emphasizing the project’s achievements in sustainable conservation practices.

Over the past decade, the United States has collaborated with the Nigerian government and state institutions, allocating over a million dollars to fund projects aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s cultural heritage management capacity.

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