NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – All Museums will on Friday be opened to the public free of charge as Kenya joins the world in commemorating the International Monuments and Sites Day.
National Museums of Kenya Director General Ahmed Yassin urged Kenyans to take advantage of the initiative which coincides with the Easter celebrations to visit the various museums which will be open from 9am to 6pm.
He further emphasised the need for them to reflect and appreciate the rich cultural heritage that the country has to offer.
“Tomorrow (Friday) we mark the World Sites and Monuments Day and all our museums will open from 9am to 6pm as a celebration of our rich heritage. We have agreed that we offer free entry to the citizens of this country to enjoy their heritage so it is not now really a question that ‘I do not have the money,’ and it is very timely as it is coming during the Easter Holiday,” he stated.
“Normally, this is the best time for us to collect revenue but essentially we are saying that we forgo the revenue for Kenyans to enjoy their rich heritage. So they are welcome to all our museums, sites and monuments. If you can visit two in Nairobi two in Mombasa, lucky you.”
His sentiments were echoed by the Nairobi County Executive officer in charge of Trade Industrialisation, Cooperative Development and Tourism Anna Othoro who emphasised the need for Kenyans to come out in large numbers and visit historic sites.
“And I would like to urge the citizens of Nairobi and those who would be visiting Nairobi to take advantage of this to begin to appreciate that which is our heritage. In Nairobi, the national attractions include, the Nairobi National Museum, the Nairobi Snake Park, the Nairobi Gallery, Uhuru Gardens and the Karen Blixen,” she said.
She indicated that Nairobi has over 50 national monuments most of which are not known by Kenyans
“As we enter into the Easter Festivities, I encourage all Nairobi residents to visit our national monuments and help preserve our rich heritage,” she stated. Within Nairobi City County’s CBD, there exists four heritage walking circuits one if which begins from the Nairobi Gallery, which is over hundred years old, formerly the PCs office where births, marriages and deaths were recorded located near Nyayo house,” she said.
She explained that the National Museums of Kenya is trying to preserve and promote this national heritage that is fast becoming a tourist attraction both within the Nairobi’s CBD and its outskirts.
“We are opening to ensure that Nairobi gets known for its heritage and not just for its wildlife. We know that Kenya as a destination has traditionally been known for its beautiful beaches and its wildlife. However we have so much more to offer which is heritage tourism which is largely untapped,” she stated.
She stressed the need for all Kenyans to take some time and appreciate the various aspects of the city which include monuments, roads, national parks and the diverse culture.
She also indicated that the county authority has embarked on a sensitisation exercise which will involve both walking and driving tours within the city.
Othoro had earlier announced the County Government would institute driving tours, where people will be taken from Uhuru Park, down the highway into the Karen area.
She had stated that City Hall is also looking into ways of reducing the entrance fees at the Nairobi National Park to enable as many Kenyans as possible to enjoy the wildlife attractions.