Lead researcher and Country Lead on Museums and Restitution, Professor Kodzo Gavua has urged local communities to collaborate with the government to retrieve local artifacts from abroad that were taken in the period of colonization.
He was speaking at a public lecture held by the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa at the University of Ghana on the topic “Restitution and Museums ; some emerging issues”.
According to Prof. Gavua, the advocacy to retrieve local artifacts from abroad is a step towards preserving the customs and traditions that give Ghanaians and Africans their cultural identity.
“Local communities as the purveyors of local customs and traditions must seek an active partnership with state authorities to further advocacy on how cultural artifacts taken forcibly from us must be returned to our shores in order to preserve customs and traditions which give us a unique identity as Ghanaians and by extension Africans. There must be a synergy across various disciplines in our society to help maintain and protect the values and norms which prevent our identities from being distorted.
Professor Gavua implored the media to partner with the National Focal Team On Museums and Artefacts to drive up public interest in the advocacy to retrieve cultural artifacts that tell the full story of how local culture and traditions shape modern societies.
“As a culturally conscious society and team of experts outdoored by government to undertake this onerous responsibility to ensure that our culture and traditions in terms of identity are protected for posterity’s sake, we call on the media in particular to join hands with us to sustain the advocacy we are embarking on to keep our society to appreciate our storied beginnings and where we are moving towards as a nation.”
The educative seminar, jointly conducted by Professor Kodzo Gavua of the University of Ghana and Professor Hans Peter Han of the University of Frankfurt, attracted seasoned academics from the University of Ghana and their foreign collaborators. It was aimed at emphasizing the significance of museums and their contributions to promoting societal identity and cohesion.