Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31532
Preservation of Artistic Heritage: Effect of Modernization on Antiquities and Traditional Murals in Nigeria

Authors: Uchenna Bella Onu


Traditional art is one of Nigerian cultural heritage. It is an excellent instrument for documentation and identification. Antiquities are priceless and irreplaceable. They are basically preserved for future generations. Sadly, preserving these highly prized cultural heritage is becoming a serious challenge. This paper examines the extent modernization has affected the preservation of traditional art in Nigeria. Particularly hit is the antiquities and traditional murals of eastern part of Nigeria. Participatory visual methods were used for this study. Efforts were made to reach the few surviving and aged mural artists. Oral information was collected from them as well as first hand drawings and some photographs of their works. Findings indicate that modernization has seriously affected the preservation of Nigerian artistic heritage. Further findings show that traditional mural artists are gradually dwindling and dangerously going into extinct. Antiquities are indiscriminately destroyed due to sheer ignorance and the blind quest to fit into the so called modern world.  

Keywords: Antiquities, artistic heritage, cultural preservation, drawings, modernization, murals.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 996


[1] M. Getlein, Gilbert’s Living with Art,6th ed. New York:McGraw-Hill Company, 2002.
[2] G. Okaneme, Igbo Culture and the Forces of Modernism. Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture.2010, vol. 12 (2), pp. 91 – 100.
[3] D. Jegede, Nigerian Art as Endangered Species: Plundering African Past. London: Indiana University Press, 1996.
[4] F. U. Chioba, (2013). Museum and Heritage Preservation: The Challenges of Igbo Studies. Okpulo Journal of Arts and Cultural Heritages. 2013, No. 1, pp. 48 - 57.
[5] K.O. Uche-Okeke, Art as a Means to Social Development Among Traditional Igbo Women of South Eastern Nigeria. The Rediscovery of Tradition. Uli and the Politics ofCulture.2005, pp. 21 – 34.
[6] N. N. Ristic, Traditional African Murals. Serbs: Museum of African Art, 2015.
[7] C. C. Aniakor, The Museum in Nigeria from Colonial Heritage to our Collective Memory and Challenges of Modern Transformation. Okpulo Journal of Arts and Cultural Heritages.2013, No. 1, pp. 1 – 15.
[8] Robert Stock “Nigeria”. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009
[DVD]. Redmond, WA. Microsoft Corporation, 2008.
[9] Own Original FESTAC Posters in Brand New Condition. Retrieved from on 15th March, 2016.
[10] Thurston Shaw – Antiquity Journal. Retrieved from on 15th March, 2016.
[11] Mama Nnama, author’s interview, Nigeria Umunze, 6th November 2012,
[12] Chief Gabriel Madichie, author’s interview, Nigeria Awgbu, 27th July, 2013.
[13] Mama Ekemma, author’s interview, Nigeria Awgbu, 14th July, 2013.