Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Museum to Become Eco-Tourism Center

After 64 years the National Museum, Esie in Kwara State, during the week got the approval of the federal government.

The news was announced by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Senator Bello Gada at the Grand Finale of 2009 Esie Monument Festival held in Esie.

The Esie Museum is the first museum in Nigeria and it is believed to have the largest collection of soapstone images in the world. It was established in 1945.

Gada disclosed that the archeological excavation that was carried out at the museum revealed more soapstones and terracotta objects excavated from the ground. Also speaking at the occasion, the Director-General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Dr Joseph Eborheme, "with the reputation as the first museum in Nigeria, a standard gallery, an auditorium, among others, would be provided for the museum, adding that the National Museum, Esie, would be given a facelift.

He, however, appealed to the state government to tar the road to the museum.

Esie Museum is under the administration of National Commission for Museums and Monuments, but it belongs to this community, local government and Kwara State government."

The National Museum Esie is believed to have the largest collection soap stone images in the world.

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