US, Nigeria sign MoU to preserve Osun shrine


The United States has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Commission of Museums and Monuments to inaugurate the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation Grant to preserve the Busanyin shrine within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, said this in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday, adding that the Director General of NCMM, Prof. Abba Tijani, and the Co-chair of the Management Committee of the Adunni Olorisha Trust, Robin Campbell, were present at the signing of the grant.

She said, “Today, we are proud to announce the launch of our 2020 AFCP award to digitally document and conserve the Busanyin shrine located within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove. CyArk and its local partners were awarded a $125,000 grant under the AFCP small grant programme to help document a series of shrines within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove and provide training to local professionals to build capacity in digital documentation skills and cultural heritage management.

“The Busanyi shrine has been significantly damaged throughout the years due to extreme flooding. The 3-D digital documentation of the shrine is the necessary first step to provide the most accurate record of the current conditions of the site to effectively plan a restoration project to increase resilience of the site during a natural disaster or extreme weather conditions. This will allow for the Busanyi shrine to remain intact as a cultural landmark for many years to come.”

Leonard added that plans are ongoing to restrict importation of prohibited items of cultural property into the US.

“Through the AFCP, the US mission has partnered with the Nigerian government to preserve cultural landmarks and sites for over a decade. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the AFCP, the US is proud to say that we have funded projects worth over a million dollars across Nigeria.

“We are also initiating new ways as well, including discussion of a bilateral agreement that would establish restrictions against the import into the US of prohibited items of cultural property. The agreement would also encourage public and private cultural institutions and law enforcement agencies in both countries to work together on repatriating trafficked objects and fostering the cultural exchanges,” she said.

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Publish date : 2021-11-09 23:14:58

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