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Minister seeks collaboration with Goethe Institute

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called for collaboration between the ministry and the Goethe Institute, the German Cultural Centre in Nigeria, in the preservation of archival materials, heritage sites and capacity building.

The Minister made the call when he received the Institute’s Director, Marc-Andre Schmachtel, at the National Theatre in Lagos on Friday.

”We need to preserve our heritage in order to boost culture. Some heritage sites are inaccessible while we are rapidly losing others,” he said, adding that the communities in which the heritage sites are situated must also be involved in the preservation efforts.

Alhaji Mohammed also sought the assistance of the Institute in preserving archival materials as well as works of art.

”We have priceless works of arts, but many of them are in bad condition. Unless we get support, we won’t be able to preserve them,” he said.

In the area of capacity building, the Minister, who noted that there is a clear link between culture and tourism, said ”our people lacked the capacity and training” to adequately market the country’s tourism and cultural potentials which, he said, can sustain the country’s economy, at a time of dwindling earnings from oil.

”We need to train them to manage and package the sites to attract global interests,” he said.

Earlier, the Director of the Goethe institute, Mr. Schmachtel, said the institute is collaborating with the Lagos Film Society to conserve and preserve between 150 and 200 films dating back to pre-2014, most of them detailing the country’s history.

He said most the films are in a bad condition and that experts are working to determine how to conserve and preserve them.

Mr. Schmachtel said there were many more areas of possible collaboration between his institute and the Ministry of Information and Culture, and urged the ministry to take advantage of them.

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