The 2015 celebration of International Museum Day celebrated on 18th May is a double celebration for Seychelles.
Half a century ago, in 1965, Seychelles National Museum started as an outgrowth of the National Archives.
Today, the National Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary, highlighting its key achievements in an exhibition, opened at National Museum.
Going back in history, in 1965 the National Museum was located in the Carnegie Library.
It was a retired officer of the Indian Army, Captain Archibald Tindall Webb who initiated its inception.
At that time the National Museum composed of a modest collection of a few interesting objects, such as portraits of Governors, shells, corals, handicrafts, photographs and paintings – with the pièce de resistance being of course the Stone of Possession, one of Seychelles’ oldest monuments dating back to 1756.
Despite its modest beginnings, under the guidance of the first Seychelles Curator, the late Mr Henri Macgaw, and later under the direction of Mr Alain Lucas, the National Museum soon became Victoria’s greatest attraction for foreign visitors and local residents, especially students.
So dramatic was its transformation that it became necessary to enlarge the National Museum repertoire and create two entities. Thus the National Museum of History was created in 1996, followed by the Natural History Museum in 1998.
Officially opening the exhibition, Benjamine Rose, Principal Secretary of Culture said over the past 50 years the National Museum has continued to evolve.
She said the National Museum has remained connected to the community.
“Over the years the National Museum has formed strong partnership with national non-governmental and international institutions. These partnerships have kept the National Museum connected with the community and abreast with new scientific developments’’
Benjamine Rose commended the workers for remaining at the centre of development at National Museums.
“Over the past 50 years the National Museum has continued to evolve, the dedication of past and present staff members have ensured that the National Museum has kept true to its core mandate of conservation and education”.
The National Museum workers dedication was recognised in a long service award ceremony organised in parallel with the exhibition.