The Benin City National Museum is a national museum in Benin City, Nigeria. located in the city centre on King’s Square. The museum has a significant number of artifacts related to the Benin Empire such as terracotta, bronze figures and cast iron pieces.
The Benin National Museum is located at King’s Square in the center of the Ring Road, making it quite a traffic hazard to try to walk to the museum entrance.The National Museum Benin City was opened in 1973. Currently, they are working to upgrade the building and redo the exhibits. As part of this effort NMAfA is planning to send Alonge exhibit components to the museum.NATIONAL Museum of Benin City started from the Oba of Benin Palace in 1940’s but the edifice we see today was officially opened to the public on August 10, 1973. The Museum contains priceless objects – of antiquities from Benin Kingdom and other parts of the country.
The first known Benin Museum started in the Oba’s Palace. Benin Traditional art was becoming famous and to preserve it, the Oba decided to assemble the artifacts under the custodian of Chief Jacob Eghareba within the palace in the Royal House- of Iwebo.As time went on, people developed more interest in these treasures. There was pressure mounted for these objects to be made public. This collection was relocated to one room in the old tax office Ring Road in Benin.
This was later moved to the Benin Divisional Council because of space and through the efforts of one Mr. K.C Murray-a surveyor of antiquities and art teacherIn. 1960, the Federal Department now National Commission for Museums and Monuments took over the custodian of the artifacts. The National Commission for museums and monuments was established under Decree 77 of 1979. Since then, Museum has been growing.
The edifices that house the artifacts today, was built during Samuel Ogbemudia regime as the two derma Military Government of Bendel State. This house with the exhibits therein was officially open to the general public in August 1973 with the ground and first floor galleries. While the second or unit gallery – was opened to the public in August 1996 through the efforts of Dr. O.J Eboreime as the Curator then.