Funding, poor storage, skills bane of cultural heritage – Curator

FILE PHOTO: Oil pours out of a spout at the Drake Well Museum and Park in Titusville, Pennsylvania U.S., October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Curator, National Commission for Museums and Monument in Kaduna state, Mr Elkanah Aliyuda Buckly, has listed poor funding, poor art storage, poor planning, inadequate skills as some of the challenges facing heritage, while proffering conservation survey as the solution.   
Buckly who stated this while delivering a speech on Museum and Modern Conservation in Kaduna, said museum is a permanent place to store arts and artefact, while modern conservation is a way of prolonging the life expectancy of any object of museum collection, either by curative or preventive method.  
“The challenging responsibility of taking adequate care of cultural heritage is a global thing. It requires skills, adequate planning, and most importantly proper funding. Conservation survey helps to detect on time, condition that pose a threat for the future of the collections and it proposes appropriate action to tackle the problems.
“Museum is a permanent establishment saddled with the responsibility of preserving, study/research, exhibit, educate for the purpose of entertaining the public. To achieve the above mentioned responsibilities, conservators, curators, education share the responsibilities together.
“Conservation is anything one does to prolong the life expectancy of any object of museum collection, either by acting directly (curative) or indirectly (preventive) on the object. Survey is the assessment, monitoring, examination and investigation of condition of the collections, and the environment, to eliminate the activities of factors of deterioration for prolonged life span of the collections.
“Agents/factors of deterioration that affects the life expectancy/span of museum collections include; UV sunlight (ultra violet), fluctuating relative humidity, rodents, insects, activities of man (theft/vandalism), poor handling,” he said.
The National Museums and Monuments Curator said that conservators across Africa are not fully understood or appreciated by the society for their efforts and they need to be supported by the authorities to ease their duty.
“Most of the storage areas of these museum collections are not orderly they’re either heaped or packed together not minding their sizes, weights and even their make. This is unacceptable, because these objects may rub against each other, or the heavy ones exert excessive pressure on the fragile ones leading to abrasion, loss of surface decoration. Poor storage and disorderly heaping of objects together results in breakage,” he said.