Omooba Yemisi Shyllon confirmed that the October 1 formal opening date is realisable as work is ongoing on other aspects of the museum, which include documentation, design display of works, photography, design of website for virtual museum and the setting up of advisory board. “We are working towards October 1 date. And we hope we will be able to do it. I strongly hope that the fund I am expected to drop soon will come too,” he assured.
Speaking on the objectives of the museum, he said: “It is not a museum based on exhibition, not a museum as tourist attraction, not a museum as generator of economic activities. However, it could be a total of all these in the future. But at the moment, it is an educational museum that serves the university and the larger society. It is to serve as an educational tool. We will start by bringing secondary school students as well as design programmes for art teachers in secondary schools to engage them on arts. The success of the museum will be measured by how much we are able to engage and the impact we have on the people. We want people to take something away from their visit to the museum. For instance, we are going to develop object-based learning process for the students, how a piece of art work communicates to the viewers. We will also educate our professors who are not art inclined. The interaction can also interrogate areas like how the Benin artists got bronze to work in the early 18th century.” He hinted that the museum is independent of the university and not under any faculty as it is practised in other universities.
But according to him, the museum space can only exhibit not more than 300 works at any given time. He added that most of the works in the museum’s collection will not be displayed.