UNESCO brings emergency assistance to the Museum of Civilizations in the Ivory Coast

Museum of Civilizations, Ivory Coast © Museum Of Civilization/ EPA

Following the looting and vandalism at the Museum of Civilizations in Abidjan after the civil uprising in spring 2011, a Japan funded UNESCO project brought emergency assistance to the museum in carrying-out an inventory of the remaining collections.

In summer 2011, UNESCO, in partnership with the School of African Heritage (EPA), sent an expert to Abidjan to accompany the museum staff in carrying out an emergency inventory of the collections.

Completing the emergency inventory was a first step towards recovery but there remains much work to be done to repair the physical damage incurred on the museum building and to the exhibition halls as well as to conserve the remaining collections and to replace stolen equipment. A long-term development programme will also need to be developed in full cooperation with the national authorities in order to effectively assist the Museum in functioning at its fullest potential, including: securing its collections, empowering its staff with the necessary skills and competencies, reinforcing its links with the local communities and visitors, strengthening its role as a source of lifelong learning, and mobilizing its resources for economic development.

“We are very concerned about the Museum of Civilizations” said Karalyn Monteil, a museum specialist in UNESCO’s Culture Sector, “and we are looking for more funds in order to ensure the conservation of its collections and to enable the museum to reopen to the public.”

Contact: Karalyn Monteil, Desk Officer for Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, UNESCO Museums Section


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