US Launches $95,000 Grant for Digital Archiving of Nigerian Arts and Artefact



The United States of America through the US Mission in Nigeria has kicked off a collaborative art project in Nigeria towards the preservation of the nation’s cultural heritage.


The project is a significant partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments.


Aligning with the  United States’ longstanding  history of supporting cultural preservation efforts, the “Preserving Nigeria’s Heritage” project will have a significant impact by improving access to Nigeria’s cultural treasures for a wider audience, both in Nigeria and internationally. Additionally, it will enhance the professional skills of museum staff through training and collaboration, and raising awareness about the importance of cultural preservation.


In her remarks,  the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lee Satterfield trailed the US history of investing in projects that impact cultural preservation.


She said: “Through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, we have demonstrated our commitment by awarding over $1.3 million in grants across Nigeria over the past decade. These grants have funded a wide range of projects, including restoration, documentation, conservation, capacity building, and exchange programs.”


In 2020, Nigeria received from the U.S. non-profit organisation CyArk a $125,000 grant to digitally survey and document the Busanyin Shrine within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove.  That effort created a digital record of the shrine to use in planning future projects and preservation initiatives, and at the same time provided training in digital tools and cultural heritage management for local museum professionals.

In 2022, the US awarded a $114,000 grant to Yale University to support a wood conservation partnership between the National Museum in Lagos and Yale’s Art Gallery. This project serves as a great example of the collaborative spirit that fosters cultural exchange and strengthens the preservation of Nigerian heritage.

She continued: “Today, we’re thrilled to announce the take-off of the $95,000 grant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art through the Cultural Property Agreement Implementation Grant program. This grant will fund the “Preserving Nigeria’s Heritage” project, which will create a digital inventory of the Nigerian Commission for Museums and Monuments collections and establish museum and community education programs.”

The United States and Nigeria signed a cultural property agreement in January 2022.


“While the United States is committed to protecting cultural property all over the world, our closest collaborations and working relationships are with our bilateral agreement partners. This is Nigeria’s first Cultural Property Agreement Implementation Grant, and it demonstrates our commitment to working with Nigeria to protect, honour, and preserve its cultural heritage.

“The United States remains a steadfast partner in Nigeria’s efforts to safeguard its rich cultural heritage. We are confident that this grant will contribute significantly to this ongoing mission,” she said.

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