Jos Museum is a museum in Jos, Nigeria. The museum was established in 1952 by Bernard Fagg.[1]

Jos Museum
Location1 Museum St, 930105, Jos, Nigeria[citation needed]
FounderBernard Fagg

The museum administers the Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture.[2]

History Edit

The museum was founded in 1952 by Bernard E. B. Fagg, who served as the Director of Antiquities of the colonial administration at the time.[3] It was the first public museum in West Africa.[1]

In 1963, UNESCO established the Regional Training Centre in Jos.[3] The institution was bilingual in English and French until the establishment of a separate French-language centre in Niamey. After UNESCO ended its financial support, the centre lost funding and resources.

The museum has fallen into disrepair, attributed to a lack of government funding, raising concerns about loss of cultural preservation.[2] In 2019, the museum was only allocated 158,197,120.[4]

Theft and recovery of artifacts Edit

On 14 January 1987, the museum was robbed of many valuable artifacts by a group of thieves. A list of the stolen artifacts was made by UNESCO.

In December 1990, one of the stolen artifacts, a fifteenth-century Benin Bronze, was discovered at an auctioneer in Zürich.[5] It was returned to the museum after two independent Swiss citizens suspected and confirmed that it was stolen.[6]

Another stolen artifact, a bronze head from Ifẹ, was discovered in London in 2017.[7] The sculpture had been auctioned off in 2007 by the Belgian government. It was purchased by an antiques dealer, unaware that it was stolen. The buyer attempted to sell the head through the auction house Woolley and Wallis, but auctioneer John Axford realized it was stolen and passed it on to police. This led to a legal battle between the Jos Museum and the buyer over ownership of the artifact. As of 2022, the artifact is currently held by UK police.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Obituary". Anthropology Today. 4 (1): 23–25. 1988. ISSN 0268-540X.
  2. ^ a b "The death of history: Inside the crumbling state of Jos museum". Daily Trust. 2022-04-10. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  3. ^ a b Hudson, Kenneth (1998). "The Museum refuses to stand still". Museum International (Fiftieth anniversary issue): 43–50 – via UNESCO Digital Library.
  4. ^ Kojah, Senami (28 August 2019). "Jos Museum, A Monument In The Shadows Of 'Death'". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Stolen Benin bronze found in Zürich". The Art Newspaper. 28 February 1991. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  6. ^ Report by the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation on its activities, 1990-1991. 19 July 1991. pp. 2–4. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  7. ^ Phillips, Barnaby (26 June 2022). "Nigerian Ife head: Why UK police are holding a priceless sculpture". BBC News. Retrieved 13 August 2022.