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Rev. Bowier urges Govt to sign culture property treaties

Jos Garneo Cephas(cephasalert@yahoo.co.uk)
Rev. Emmanuel Z. Bowier
Rev. Emmanuel Z. Bowier

(elbcradio.com/May 28, 2015)-Former Information Minister Rev. Emmanuel Z. Bowier, is urging government to ensure that Liberia forms part of the convention that seeks to protect cultural properties during armed conflicts.

Rev. Bowier said being part of such convention and other cultural treaties will give Liberia the opportunity to gain access to cultural properties and, art and craft materials smuggled out of the country to other parts of the world long ago.

Rev. Bowier made the call Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the start of a two-day awareness workshop on the 1954 Hague Convention on Cultural Property Protection held at the Information Ministry in Monrovia.

He said, if Liberia had signed the various conventions, prior to the nation’s civil conflict, the country would have by now reaped the benefits.

He said Museums and other cultural sites, ravaged during the civil conflict, would have been protected or restored.

The former Information Minister said Liberians’ belief, in the past, that they were non-violent is partly responsible for the country’s reluctance to sign treaties and conventions that seek cultural property protection.

“Signing these conventions will serve as an act of liberation for Liberia’s cultural artifacts. This will also enable the nation begin negotiations, especially with the United States, to return arts and crafts that were taken away,” Rev. Bowier emphasized.

At the same time, Deputy Information Minister, Robert Kpadeh, has assured the Information Ministry’s commitment to protecting the country’s cultural instruments and property.

Deputy Minister Kpadeh said Liberia is behind, because cultural practices have not been placed on the pedestal.
Minister Kpadeh also said the Information Ministry intends going beyond the workshop and working along with stakeholders, the Legislature, Foreign and Justice Ministries to exert efforts in such direction.

He made the statement Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the start of the two-day workshop, organized by the ministry, in collaboration with UNESCO.

The Deputy Information Minister added: “If the Government cannot emphasize cultural practices, then it will have nothing to teach the current and future generations.”-

 


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