Lagos—The U.S. Mission has celebrated the conclusion of the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project, “Sustaining a Partnership in Conservation and Preservation,” between the National Museum, Lagos and the Yale University Art Gallery.”
Through this project, the Yale University Gallery of Art conducted two conservation training workshops for National Museum Lagos conservators and staff of Yaba College of Technology Lagos, helping them preserve Nigerian historic artifacts through advanced storage, documentation, and treatment techniques.
The workshops in Lagos were led by conservators from the Yale University Art Gallery and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art with additional training provided for several Nigerian museum conservators in the United States at the Yale University Art Gallery.
At an exhibition to mark the completion of the project in Lagos, U.S. Consul General Will Stevens delivered remarks underscoring the U.S. government’s support for the preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage using the AFCP and other partnership mechanisms.
“The United States has been unwavering in its commitment to protect and preserve Nigeria’s cultural heritage and rich diversity,” Consul General Stevens said. “I am looking forward to many more opportunities like this to strengthen our combined efforts in the future.”
U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Julie McKay explained that the project strengthened the U.S.-Nigeria partnership in cultural preservation by supporting workshops in conservation techniques that are mutually beneficial for the National Commission for Museum and Monuments and American museum professionals.
“In addition to capacity building, we have a Cultural Property Agreement in place with Nigeria, signed in January 2022, that protects Nigeria’s antiquities by prohibiting their import into the United States,” McKay added.
In his remarks, Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Professor Abba Issa Tijani, described the impact of AFCP projects across Nigerian museums. He explained that the project provided opportunities for a two-way exchange between Nigerian and American wood conservators.
James Green, Curator of African Art at the Yale University Gallery of Art, noted that the project encouraged the exchange of ideas between Nigerian conservators and their U.S. counterparts on advanced conservation techniques. “The outcomes of this project which included breakthroughs in sustainable conservation practices wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria,” Green said.
Over the past decade, the United States has partnered with the Nigerian government and state institutions to fund projects totaling over a million dollars to strengthen Nigeria’s cultural heritage management capacity.