THE National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) Lagos branch, recorded 42, 889 visitors in 2018, up from 41,826 visitors received in 2017.
Mr Emmanuel Omotosho, Head of Education Department of the commission, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
Omotosho, however, noted that the number of visitors was not too encouraging.
He gave the breakdown of the categories of visitors for 2018 as 34,713 students; 7,249 Nigerian adults; and 927 foreigners.
According to him, in 2017, 33,430 students, 7, 326 Nigerian adults and 1,070 foreigners were recorded.
“Our patronage in 2018 was not encouraging because we had about 1,063 difference between 2017 and 2018.
“This indicates that we must improve on our outreach programmes to schools and offices within Lagos,’’ Omotosho said
He said that the museum had concluded plans to ensure it creates awareness in schools across Lagos on the essence of visiting the museum.
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Omotosho said that most offices within Lagos would also be visited to enable people to know what they could benefit by paying constant visits to the museum.
“We hope to do better this year because we will be visiting schools and offices within the state to enlighten students and individual adults on the essence of visiting the museum, ’’ he said.
Mr Okechukwu Okwalanwa, Head, Public Affairs of the commission, said that the museum had helped in projecting artists’ works, saying that 18 art exhibitions were held in 2018.
“We had 18 art exhibitions last year, which were held from March through to December 2018 and the works showcased were those of renowned artists and the upcoming ones.
“We used the platform to promote works of young Nigerian artists to encourage them on their chosen profession and each of the exhibitions yielded huge sales and recognition for the artists.
“We had artists like Sandra Mbanefo, Akin Odeshola, Segun Taylor, George Edozie, Dorothy Dipo and more,’’ he said.
Okwalanwa said that not less than 20 art exhibitions had been slated for 2019 aimed at telling the Nigerian public to address political, social, environmental and economic challenges.
He said that artworks were meant to proffer solutions to societal problems and relieve individuals of emotional and psychological stress.
According to him, the 2019 art exhibitions would commence soon, as it was delayed because of the Feb. 23 and March 9 elections in the country.
“We will be showcasing antiques and contemporary arts as usual, while we encourage our young upcoming artists to showcase their works for more recognition.
“The art exhibitions will commence soon and we call on the general public to visit the museums while the exhibitions are ongoing,’’ he said.
Okwalanwa urged the public to cultivate the habit of visiting museums so as to tap from the tremendous knowledge and history contained in the museums.
According to him, a museum is a place where individuals can visit for recreation and acquisition of knowledge.