Sierra Leone News: Relics Commission Sets Development Priorities
The newly reconstituted Monument and Relics Commission on Thursday, 8th April 2014 held its maiden meeting at the Sierra Leone National Museum in Freetown to discuss pertinent issues relating to the development of the National Museum and other historical monuments and relics in the country.
The Commissioners of the Commission include, Isatu Smith as Chairperson, Professor Magbaylay Fyle, Professor Joe A. D. Alie, CharlIe Haffner, Milton B. Koroma, Sahr Musa Bainda and Kitty Fadlu-Deen of Balanta Academy.
The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Peter Bayuku Konteh said the need to develop the National Museum and other touristic sites is important because they depict Sierra Leone’s identity from pre colonial era to present day. He said the establishment of the Commission will enable the government to pay more attention to the cultural sector, adding that the Commissioners appointed are competent in the area of culture and expressed belief that they will work diligently to promote tourism and culture in Sierra Leone.
He explained that the new appointed Commissioners have worked in diverse areas relating to culture and education which he noted, “is really important”, while appreciating their demonstrated passion and commitment to the development of culture.
Minister Konteh admonished the Commissioners to take their job seriously, reminding them of “the huge task” placed on their shoulders to develop culture in the country. The Minister announced plans to build a bigger and better National Museum in Freetown and also in provincial headquarters across the country.
In her statement, the Chairperson of the Commission, Isatu Smith said the reconstitution of the Commission is a significant step by government in ensuring that strategies are put in place to develop the country’s cultural heritage.
Madam Smith admitted that it is the responsibility of the Commission to promote these monuments and relics and to educate the people about the values and relevance to the country’s heritage, adding that the Commission is also responsible to identify and enlist existing monuments and relics relevant to indigenous societies outside of Freetown and give them the public recognition they deserve.
She went on to mention that the Commission will promote the importance of all artifacts and edifices and provide full context of these infrastructure as a way of bringing them to life and engendering local interest as touristic attractions.
Commissioner Isatu Smith pledged the Commission’s commitment to the enhancement of both institutional and human capacities in the cultural sector, noting that the shortage of man power in the various institutions within the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs has affected the development of culture in the country.
By Mariam Bah
Friday May 09, 2014