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Petition Tag - help us to stop the demolition of uganda's only national museum
The Government of the Republic of Uganda intends to undertake a project of constructing an ultra modern 60 commercial storey building crowned “The East African Trade Centre/Tower” at Plot 5 Old Kira Road (11.5 Acres) where the Museum is currently located.
The proposal suggests the demolition of the Uganda National Museum building and plans to install the artifacts of the Museum on either one or two floors of the new complex.
National Museums the world over are stand alone buildings rather than a floor or two in a building, thus giving due regard to their importance in respect to national identity. The movement of our cultural treasures (artifacts) without a clear plan for their preservation is likely to expose them to harsh elements that are likely to affect their preservation. In a culturally diverse country like Uganda, we need a point of reference for common national identity. The Uganda National Museum plays this unique role and is the only operational national museum. The proposed East Africa Trade Centre/Tower has no cultural significance, both in terms of design and purpose and will be an environmental hazard because of the limited space.
Besides, the Demolition of the Uganda National Museum contravenes Uganda’s Historical Monuments Act of 1967, Uganda’s Cultural Policy of 2006, the UNESCO Convention of 1972 as well as the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda of 1995. Moreover, “an environmental impact assessment has not been done, nor has any heritage impact assessment been carried out.
It is on this basis that HRCI together with other civil society organizations such as the Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), Jenga Africa, Historic Buildings Conservation Trust (HBCT), and Arterial Network- Uganda Chapter among others initiated a campaign code named “Save the Uganda National Museum Campaign” whose aim is to stop the demolition of the Uganda National Museum building. We are arguing our government to relocate the East Africa Trade Centre/Tower somewhere else. We filed a case in court but the court process is taking long!
We are extremely saddened by the trend in Uganda where buildings are randomly and rampantly destroyed without any thought of their historical and cultural significance. As you may be aware, the Uganda National Museum building was constructed in 1945 and was officially opened in 1954. It houses artifacts which were collected since 1902 and were initially stored at Fort Lugard in Old Kampala founded in 1908 and Makerere University under Margret Trowel as a curator.