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Olowo Palace to Become National Monument

Olowo Palace to Become National Monument

Femi Makinde,
Akure

In an bid to promote culture and tourism, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), has said that the palace of the Olowo of Owo, has been earmarked as a national monument.

The minister said this on Friday at the inauguration of permanent exhibition gallery of the National Museum in Owo, Ondo State. Kayode, while addressing the audience which had the Olowo, Oba Victor Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III in attendance, said, "Kabiyesi, next time when I am coming here, I will bring a gazette to you to show that the Owo palace has become a national monument."

Kayode said that the administration of President Umaru Yar'Adua had resolved to "preserve and present our cultural heritage as the basis of our unity and corporateness". He said, "At a micro level, I have been discussing with the Olowo and I share his passion, vision and efforts at making Owo heritage the foundation for the flourishing of other developmental strides in Owoland."

In order to put an end to the willful destruction of natural and cultural heritages, Kayode said that the Federal Government would soon constitute a body to devise a conservation master plan for Nigeria. According to him, this is in tandem with the effort of his ministry to fashion a comprehensive tourism master plan for the country.

Our correspondent gathered that the Owo palace is one of the palaces that were replete which cultural artefacts. Archaeological excavations in Owo have also yielded many cultural objects dating back to 15th century. The archaeological findings in Owo, according experts, have demonstrated close links with the Ife terracotta and bronzes as well as Benin bronzes and wood carving.

The Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, in his address, said that the development of a viable tourism industry should be a joint effort between the government and the private sector. The governor invited investors to partner with the state government in developing and making cultural and natural sites in the state attractive to local and foreign tourists.

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