The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Seminars, Symposia, and Academic Conferences

Sunday, March 2, 2008
《Open Forum》Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Africa: From Memories to Histories

Date: March 2, 2008
Place: Seminar Room No. 5, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
Language: English, accompanied by sentence-by-sentence translation into Japanese
Admission Free


  * This symposium is open to the public.
  * Details will be provided at the Research Center for Cultural Resources, NME: 06-6878-8302 (phone)

Today the outflow of cultural heritage of archeological or artistic values from Africa is emerging as a serious issue. In some cases looting has reached such a scale as to destroy archaeological sites totally. Few complete objects are kept in the original country, while many fine pieces can be found in major museums outside Africa including Japan. Meanwhile, there is a vigorous movement in many parts of Africa to build museums for the purpose of preserving and presenting cultural heritage on-site. This movement also challenges museums outside of Africa to review the prevalent one-sided approach to exhibitions of African treasures. It is now rather common for museums to have close collaborative relationships with the people who are represented in the exhibitions.

Since 2005, the National Museum of Ethnology and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), in collaboration with universities and museums in six sub-Saharan African countries, have organized joint fieldwork and seminars about African cultural heritage. In this open forum, researchers from six African countries report the actuality of their cultural heritage, reviewing the outcomes of the three-year project.

JSPS Platform Program "Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Africa"

Program (13:00 - 16:45)

Opening remarks: Makio MATSUZONO (Director-General, National Museum of Ethnologh)
Outline of the Project: Kenji YOSHIDA (Professor, National Museum of Ethnology)

Country Report 1 Mali: Samuel SIDIBE (Director, National Museum of Mali)
Country Report 2 Nigeria: Krydz IKWUEMESI (Lecturer, University of Nigeria)
Country Report 3 Cameroon: Samuel ABONG (Director, Bafut Royal Museum)
Country Report 4 Zambia: George MUDENDA (Director, Lusaka National Museum)
Country Report 5 South Africa: Anitra NETTLETON (Professor, University of Witwatersrand)
Country Report 6 Madagascar: Jean-Aime RAKOTOARISOA (Director, Museum of Art and Archaeology)



General Discussion and Conclusion