Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the Benin Royal Museum project will serve as a critical institution to preserve the audio-visual heritage of Edo people and help revive interest and study of history among youths.
The governor said this in commemoration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, marked every October 27, by the United Nations and the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and other sister organisations.
Obaseki said it was pertinent to underscore the role of audio-visual heritage in preserving the human conscience, stressing the need for strengthening institutions and policies that investigate, collate and document human experience in formats that are easily retrievable.
According to him, “As we mark the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, the significance and reasoning behind the Benin Royal Museum is brought to the fore. The centrality of such institutions to the sustenance of human history cannot be overemphasized.
Hence, there is no denying that as a people, we have come a long way with unique, personal and collective memories that enrich the human experience.
“Aside the fact that we would be preserving our artifacts at the Museum, mentifacts, including sociofacts and other manifestations of our rich and diverse civilisation, have been documented in audio-visual formats and need to be preserved and exhibited to serve as guides to our youths.”
He noted that the Museum project would help to build strong identities and personalities among youths and connect them to the core of their heritage in formats that are easily relatable, especially with the proliferation of digital media, which affords them vicarious knowledge and experience to drive social change.
According to the UN, “Audiovisual archives tell us stories about people’s lives and cultures from all over the world. They represent a priceless heritage, which is an affirmation of our collective memory and a valuable source of knowledge since they reflect the cultural, social and linguistic diversity of our communities.
“They help us grow and comprehend the world we all share. Conserving this heritage and ensuring it remains accessible to the public and future generations is a vital goal for all memory institutions, as well as the public at large.
“The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) provides an occasion to raise general awareness of the need to take urgent measures and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents.”