Interview: Kenya to launch a national heritage collection center: official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-17 23:51:28|Editor: ZX
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NAIROBI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will soon launch a national heritage collection center amid the quest to preserve the country's history and culture, an official said on Tuesday.

Mzalendo Kibunjia, director general of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), said the center will boost the preservation of antiquities that define Kenya's long march to becoming a modern republic.

"We have developed a design of the center that is due to cost us 2.6 billion shillings (about 26 million U.S. dollars)," Kibunjia told Xinhua in an interview in Nairobi.

He said that lack of funding has delayed the launch and construction of the project that will open additional space for the conservation of artifacts.

Kibunjia said the new center will help preserve new collections, adding that NMK has collected 10 million items, ranging from biological, cultural, artifacts and paleontology.

"The expansion is necessary since the NMK has remained the same in the past 40 years and is full to the brim with collections," Kibunjia said.

He said that besides the center, NMK is also planning to establish science and technology and maritime museums that are currently lacking in the country.

Kibunjia said the new museums will help preserve and tell science in a different form as well as tell the story of the Indian Ocean in details from its past.

He said that NMK is keen to collaborate with the Chinese government given the Asian country's prowess in managing science, technology and maritime museums.

"We are ready to learn from the Chinese expertise in this area as this will help us expand our museums and attract many people," said Kibunjia.

He said NMK is in the process of documenting Kenya-Chinese collaboration starting from the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) and road construction industry for posterity.

He said the biggest exhibition that the Chinese had left behind is being displayed in Kenya's coastal islands of Mombasa and Lamu.

He said the number of visitors to the National Museums of Kenya has currently stood at about one million annually, up from 750,000 in 2015.

"We have plans to increase public programs to attract adults and the middle class to visit the museum since at the moment, the majority of visitors are children," said Kibunjia.