It was only a matter of time for a full scale renovation work to commence at the historic 154 year old National Museum of Liberia.
The nation’s only museum is a national heritage structure that has stood the test of time, many governments, and key and defining moments in Liberia’s history.
The artistic community and Liberians should now be proud of this current renovation work because it will help save memoirs of past presidents, cartographical materials related to Liberia’s cultural artifacts, as well as galleries that illustrate Liberia’s other past and present works of art for future generations.
Another reason we should be happy is that the museum remains one of the few remaining landmark structures in the country that represents Liberia during “normal-days.” When completed, it will serve as a haven to preserve and display cultural artifacts that offer insight into the country’s past, including the civil war years.
At long last, worry will not be placed on removing cultural artifacts and other historical items from one location to another due to leaky roofs, which damaged most of the museum’s priceless collections.
Still available and will now be place as a showpiece at the museum is the more than 200 years old dining table given to Liberia’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Robertson, as a gift from Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Before the current reconstruction, the table was placed at a less revered location because the area around it was considered a death trap, as the floor around it was unstable from the rain and was expected to cave in at any time.
As the GOL fights to give the nation’s only museum a new and decent look, it is also necessary that they fight to restore some of the damaged cultural artifacts in the museum to their original look, and repatriate our artifacts currently gracing museums in other countries.
The continued deteriorating states of these damaged artifacts and historical items threaten the legacies of likes of President Tubman, through his Book of Condolence, and other great men, women, moments and works from the past.
These historical achievements did not happen overnight; they took time – some during times of difficulty and impossibility, while others illustrated success in the face of adversity for Liberia.
Therefore, it is important that GOL does everything in its power to make the legacy and great artworks live again by restoring and repatriating them.
The museum’s renovation is certainly a historic Liberian moment in its own right; and the plight of those who fought through advocacy to ensure this renovation will be well documented for posterity. A monument in its own right, the museum represents Liberia’s historical past.
Although the government is now trying to uplift and preserve the nation’s most valuable cultural artifacts and historical items through this renovation, it is also important to remind the GOL and every nationality in Liberia that this renovation work should not be used in political campaigns, as it is a purely educational matter, hence of national interest that goes beyond partisan politics.
Education for the unborn and present generation should be the goal.
In unity we stand, divided we will fall, but through education about our past and great events, we shall overcome.
Finally, when the museum is reopened for public us, it is the responsibility of everyone present in Liberia to ensure that the building remains decent. Do not urinate on the fence, people; post no bills or flyers on its walls, like it was done before. Let us learn to respect our own.