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Artists, stakeholders to determine museum collection

Mamohlakola Letuka

LOCAL artistes and other stakeholders will determine what the Lesotho National Museum and Art Gallery will exhibit, the consultants that were engaged by the government to research and implement the operational systems have said.

Dijondesign, recently held a workshop with artistes and representatives from various organisations.

Khensani Maluleke a representative from Dijondesign said the museum would be used for research, collection and management and conservation of culture and heritage of Basotho.

He said they would hold educational programmes to develop and promote national and natural cultural heritage collection.

Maluleke said in order for Lesotho to have a self-sustainable museum, there was need for framework to support the museum.

He said the management concept would be designed with the help of the stakeholders.

“As a country, the world is expecting you to set your own theme for the museum, something that sets you apart,” Khensani said.

“You should own this museum and use it to preserve your heritage.”

He said artists should tell their own stories and use the museum as a platform to express and communicate with international market.

“Basotho should take pride in the artifacts that will be displayed in the museum, hence it is up to them to decide what they make of it.”

He said there was also need for the capacitation of the human capital as well as a policy framework that would govern the arts fraternity as a whole.

Maluleke said after the review of the current policies and the legislature, they realised that there were gaps that would negatively affect the management of the gallery.

He said it was essential to harmonise different national policies and legal frameworks for museums and heritage in Lesotho such as the Lesotho Museums Act, the National Heritage Act of 2011, the 2005 National Cultural Policy and the MOU with Morija Museum and the Masitise Cave House.

“The viability of integrating the museum with other heritage administrative functions must be given due thought.

“In a relatively small country such as Lesotho, it would make sense for the governance and administration of movable and immovable cultural heritage to be coordinated via a single national network rather than duplicated at national and institutional levels,” he said.

He said the preservation and consumption of heritage must be coordinated between different functions.

“The Board of Trustees should be enlarged to ensure that key stakeholders are represented and to make provisions for key competencies that are required.

“At the same time, advisory committees should be established with representation on the board to ensure that decision-making serves the interests of the heritage sites and centers working in partnership with the National Museum,” Maluleke said.

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