Celebrating International Museum Day

2015-05-20 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

International Museum Day was hosted Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (pictured), who gave the keynote address.

PHOTO: supplied International Museum Day was hosted Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (pictured), who gave the keynote address.

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INTERNATIONAL Museum Day was celebrated at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum with the opening of an improved Warren Mammal Hall and additional exhibitions which reflected African history. The event was hosted by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who not only opened the exhibition, he also contributed towards it with King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The event also hosted storyteller Gcina Mhlophe and Elliot Ndlovu who spoke on the uses of traditional herbs.

The director of the museum exhibitions Bridgette Johnson said the changes made to the Warren Mammal Hall were done to properly reflect the new South Africa and to transform exhibitions to reflect all cultures, religions and race groups.

“The old exhibition lacked the African­ touch. The new one incorporates various aspects of the African culture and the labels and multimedia now have a Zulu-language option.”

Johnson said the initial exhibition was developed in 1903 and is still as relevant now as it was 112 years ago, and this was her aim for the new exhibition.

“We had to make sure it represented how we live and make sure that years from now it will still be relevant and informative.”

In his speech Buthelezi said the history­ of our culture should be treasured.

“My mother taught me from a young age to treasure our traditional knowledge. No one hunted wild animals because they knew that these populations needed to be preserved for the future.”

He spoke about the need for people to take conservation seriously.

“Conservation is not the worst idea. Working together with others to help preserve our animals can be done.

“This exhibition is part of the body of knowledge, wisdom and experience system through which people will make sense of our traditions of the past. We need to remember to take our culture seriously and be proud of it.”

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