Friday, June 14, 2024
NewsFinance Ministry nods to construction of new National Museum

Finance Ministry nods to construction of new National Museum

Heritage Authority to embark on designs next year

The Ethiopian Heritage Authority is readying to embark on the construction of two large museum projects following the approval of a long-awaited multimillion birr budget by officials at the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry has allocated 50 million birr towards feasibility studies and designs for a new National Museum and a Human Origins Museum in Addis Ababa. The Authority announced the decision during a press briefing on March 17, 2024, held near its headquarters. The announcement coincided with the 47th International Museums Day.

Abebaw Ayalew, director-general of the Authority, said there is a need for new institutions to represent Ethiopia’s vast heritage and culture.

“The current small national museum is inadequate,” said Abebaw. ”We are working to establish two new museums.”

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Feasibility studies and design works for the National Museum and another one dedicated to human evolution will be conducted using a budget to be issued in the coming fiscal year, according to the Director-General.

The National Museum will be dedicated to showcasing Ethiopian heritage, including achievements in athletics and the country’s artistic history. The second museum will feature archaeological relics, including fossils and tools.

Abebaw said that while exact locations for the projects are still under consideration, the Authority is planning to erect both facilities on the road that connects the capital’s existing heritage sites. These include the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum near Meskel Square and other sites located on the road from the heart of Addis Ababa to Entoto, such as the Science Museum, Unity Park, and others.

He said the planned museums will be built in line with international standards.

The Director-General’s press briefing also addressed issues related to which historical monuments and other attractions removed for development projects will be returned to their original sites and which could face the possibility of destruction.

“No statues in Addis Ababa are damaged. They only require cleaning,” said Abebaw.

He disclosed that the only relocation on the books is for the monument of the Lion of Judah near the National Theater, which was commissioned by Emperor Haile Selassie I. Abebaw says the monument, which was custom built by sculptor Maurice Calka in 1954, will be moved some 50 meters away from its current location to accommodate road construction projects.

Other monuments, including to Karl Marx and Bob Marley, are not considered heritage elements and do not hold significant historical value, according to Abebaw.

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