Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Preserving the cultural heritage of Ghana [Do we have an ‘Acquisition’s of (Heritage) Arts team in Ghana?]….

Feast your eyes on the following art treasures –they hail from Ghana. Wouldn’t it be amazing to own a piece of Ghanaian history –or better still, wouldn’t it be great if these treasures were back in Ghana -where they belong? Can someone tell me if we have an ‘Arts Acquisition’ team in Ghana right now? Do we have a team of people ethically and legally buying back or protecting our [national] treasures – so we can preserve the cultural heritage [ancient art and artifacts] of [this] our great nation? I might need to contact the Director of Ghana National Museum & Monuments……

Object of Desire: Asante Polychrome Sculpture of a Man Holding a Black Ram

Origin: Southern Ghana
Date: 20th Century AD
POA Website: www.artofancientafrica.com
Object of Desire: Asante Bronze Head

Origin: Southern Ghana
Date: 17 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
POA Website: www.artofancientafrica.com

I stumbled across the following text –as I was searching for a [possible] Ghanaian Antiquities Arts Acquisition’s team via google… Enjoy it, its an eye opener…..

Title: Ghana's Vanishing Past: Development, Antiquities, and the Destruction of the Archaeological Record By: Benjamin W. Kankpeyeng and Christopher R. DeCorse
Ghana's past is being destroyed at a rapid rate. Although the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board has in some instances successfully intervened to stop the illicit trading of antiquities, the destruction of archaeological sites as a consequence of development over the past two decades has been staggering and the pace is accelerating. The potential of the legislation that established the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and empowered it to manage and preserve the country's archaeological past has not been realized. The lack of political action, limited relevant public education, insufficient funding, and the poverty of the majority of the Ghanaian populace have allowed for the widespread destruction of both sites and historic buildings. Conspicuously, both the absence of integrated development planning by the Ghanaian government and the inability of development partners (both foreign and domestic) to recognize the potential value of cultural resources have contributed significantly to the continued loss of the archaeological record. While the antiquities trade is a continuing threat to Ghana's cultural resources, it is, in fact, tourism and economic development that pose the major menace to the country's archaeological past. This article reviews the history of cultural resource management in Ghana, including both traditional attitudes toward preservation and current legislation. Case studies are used to illustrate the problems faced. [Credit: http://www.springerlink.com]
Contact: crdecors@maxwell.syr.edu

“Many museum directors, art dealers and auction houses in the West seem to have nothing but contempt and disdain for rules and regulations, especially international rules, intended to control illicit traffic in artefacts which they perceive as attempts to limit their right to acquire artefacts by any means. No wonder that in the last few years that many have been involved in scandals and criminal cases which do not reflect on their standing. Still there are museum directors and others who have more sympathy for looters than for legislators who seek to control the illicit market.
All who have studied the problem of looting of African artefacts have concluded that unless the West limits its demand for African artefacts, there is no way this traffic can be controlled. They add however that there is a lot that the African States themselves could also do if they are seriously concerned by the systematic depletion of their cultural heritage.
The looting of African cultural artefacts for the West which reached its levels of climax in the invasion of Magdala, Ethiopia (1868), Kumasi, Ghana (1874), and Benin, Nigeria (1879) still continues in our time, albeit with different methods and persons but with devastating effects on the cultural heritage of the African countries.”
Dr Kwame Opoku [Credit:http://www.modernghana.com]

** What are we going to do about this folks? I know many of you will state the obvious -lack of funding etc -but could it be that we [or the powers that be] haven't fully comprehended the true value of these treasures? Surly it is common knowledge -that a nation without a past, history or Art is a nation without a future?

1 comment:

    Best wishes,Kwame Opoku.