Museum team visits famous SA sites

Tour assisted in examining various museum management policies and models for the proposed cultural centre and museum in Kajiado

By Jonathan Teikan

A FOUR-DAY tour to South African museums by the Kajiado Culture and Heritage Taskforce Committee will serve to further build its experiences, knowledge and skills in establishing a cultural museum and Maasai resource centre, according to its representative Dr Lanoi Maloiy.

On December 11, as part of their logistical preparation to build Governor Joseph ole Lenku’s envisioned central place in the county where Maasai culture and artefacts can be collected and preserved for future generations, Dr Lanoi toured the Ditsong Cultural Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Freedom Park, the Pretoria Art Museum, and Melrose Victorian House.

South Africa was chosen as a suitable basis for benchmarking given that it has some of the most advanced and modern museums in Africa.

Ditsong Museums — an amalgamation of eight national museums — prides itself of diverse collections covering the fields of fauna and flora, paleontology, military history, cultural history, geology, anthropology, and archaeology.

The visit was facilitated by a grant from Art Moves Africa, which focuses on the acquisition, documentation, exhibition, conservation, and preservation of various cultural artefacts and items of historical value and national importance.

“Through our interaction with museum curators, we learnt how to acquire sample documents such as museum policies and exhibition proposals, which would be part of the Kajiado Culture and Heritage taskforce’s research on best practice with regard to museum management,” said Lanoi.

Moreover, the tour assisted in examining various museum management policies and models for the proposed cultural centre and museum.

“We learnt about the process an item goes through when it comes into a museum, in terms of the documentation, starting from when it is acquired or donated to the museum, up to the time of its exhibition.”

She added: “It was also useful visiting storerooms within the museums to see how artefacts are stored and preserved — the type of infrastructure required for storing and exhibiting the relics, that is, cabinet displays, lighting, air conditioning, and appropriate flooring, including the types of materials used for displaying artefacts.”

The ground site for the proposed museum has been earmarked, and the taskforce is reportedly in the process of meeting the architects so work can commence.

Caption: Dr Lanoi Maloiy, right, with other participants in the 2013-14 Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) Photo/Courtesy

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