Museum official yearns for more storage
Storage space is vital for museums globally with a senior Samoa Museum official hopeful the newly opened Culture Centre at Malifa will cater for their needs.
Museum of Samoa's Senior Museum Officer, Ailini Eteuati, told the Samoa Observer recently that they are hoping the new Chinese-funded Culture Centre will have storage rooms.
With over ten years experience, Ms. Eteuati recently returned from a museum training where she met several museum professionals in Hawaii.
She said that a lot of topics were covered during their training including human remains and its repatriation. While another training she underwent in Japan focused on preservation of wooden artefacts and architectural designs.
Nonetheless, the importance of storage space within a museum cannot be downplayed, and Ms. Eteuati is hopeful the Culture Centre will have storage for the museum's current collection.
Currently all items that were previously in the storeroom are now in the museum's central office in Malifa, she added.
The museum's mission is to safeguard, research and preserve cultural collections both material and intangible according to Ms Eteuati.
"For the museum to meet international standards, one of the vital departments is storage, because preservation goes in line with good storage," she said.
A former Auckland War Memorial Museum and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich director, Roy Clare, added that a lot of the world's largest museums have vast collections but only a fraction of them are ever on display.
"Only a fraction of the items is ever on display at any one time, but all of them should be catalogued, many these days digitally and online, which makes them available for research, cross-reference and learning," he said.
"Collections items of cultural significance are especially important to developing the understanding of communities and peoples whose local voices have at times in the past been lost.
"Too often in colonial times, the cultural significance of treasures has been overwritten by well-intentioned, but ultimately damaging scholarship from privileged perspectives.”
“It is vital nowadays for co-curation and co-development to be adopted by museums and institutions, so that multiple perspectives are heard, and so that western academic views can no longer predominate, but instead there is mutual respect for inherited knowledge, customs and ancient practices.”
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