The Government has announced plans to establish a National Museum of the Jamaican People, with branches in Kingston and Montego Bay.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who provided details during her contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 18, said the museum will be created as part of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ).
“It will be a space where our children will be able to learn the glorious history of this nation and register pride in our achievement and so develop new confidence and self-worth,” she stated.
Ms. Hanna informed that it will contain, among other exhibits, the artefacts from “our African Heritage now being stored in the IOJ, hidden from the eyes of the Jamaican people”.
The museum project will begin in July this year with the first major exhibition ever to be held in Jamaica on the Rastafari Movement.
“Every year, our national museum will consider and address another defining part of our history to strengthen our shared understanding of who we are and the national mission we are embarked on,” Ms. Hanna informed.
The Culture Minister said the IOJ’s Museums Division has been cataloguing and storing artifacts and memorabilia that tell the remarkable story of the Jamaican people.
The national collection now has more than 17,000 objects, many of which are in storage in the basement of the IOJ building on East Street, downtown Kingston.
“As we build the economic structure of Jamaica we must also build our national cultural identity in order to give every citizen of this country and every curious visitor to our island the opportunity to trace our history and cultural roots through National Museum,” she said.
Ms. Hanna said in the first instance the National Museum will open in Kingston and will give new life to the capital city as the historical, cultural and artistic centre of Jamaica.
Contact: Chris Patterson