By Osa Amadi, Arts Editor
The documentation and conservation efforts for the Busanyin Shrine at the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove was launched in Osogbo last Thursday.
During a kick-off event at the UNESCO world heritage site, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo, joined the Ataoja of Osogbo, His Royal Majesty Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Laroye, as well as officials of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) to mark the opening of this important cultural project.
The United States Mission to Nigeria has a long history of supporting the protection and preservation of Nigerian cultural heritage through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).
The Mission’s implementing partner CyArk, a California-based non-profit organization, is leading the 3D documentation of the Busanyin Shrine, one of eight monuments within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove.
At the event, Pierangelo explained that the AFCP project will provide an accurate record of the current conditions of the shrine to effectively plan restoration work.
She noted that one of the key components of the AFCP project is a capacity building program on digital documentation skills and cultural heritage management for curators and local officials responsible for managing the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove monuments.
“The United States is a strong supporter of efforts to preserve Nigerian culture,” Pierangelo said. “We have funded over $770,000 for preservation projects across Nigeria through the AFCP in the last four years.”
In addition to the Busanyin Shrine project, additional AFCP projects include documentation and conservation of the 14th-century Sungbo Eredo earthworks of the Yoruba Ijebu Kingdom in southwest Nigeria; documentation of the Ifa oral traditions in Oyo State; rock art preservation project in Cross River and Jigawa states, among many others.
The U.S. Mission to Nigeria continues to explore opportunities to support the preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage using the AFCP and other partnership mechanisms.
Applications for the AFCP 2022 Grants Program is open until December 5. Non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations are welcome to apply. Application forms and further details are available here.