meaningful plan or projection into the future, anadequate knowledge and understandingof the past and present is required in a perfect synthesis if any success is to be achieved.This is the role of the museum building in the society. Museum buildings do notonly serve as places where object of historyand relics are kept, but also as touristavenues themselves excluding the relics that they contain.
The earliest museums, resembled today’s libraries and scholarly institutes and
were established as sources of inspiration and enlightenment. At his capital
city of ‘Tal al
Amarinah in Egypt, Pharaoh Akhenaton (ruler from about 1353 to 1335 B.C) erected alarge library in which he stored the many gifts and tributes that allied rulers and subjectpeoples had given him(Encarta encyclopedia, 2007).
The term ‘museum’ was first applied to a state
-supported research in Alexandria,Egypt, founded by king Ptolemy 1 early in the 3
century B.C to foster scientific studies.Also, religion, especially Christianity in the Middle Ages played a great role in thedevelopment and growth of museums, as churches became the focal point for collectingreligious relics, jewels, precious metals etc.Collections in the Islamic world and Asia however took the form of spoils of war.Collections of art works by the nobility also playedan important role in developingmuseums as can be seen in palaces and temples of China and Japan e.g. Shosoin (ShosoHouse) at Todai ji (Todai temple).
In West Africa, however, one of the most prominent museums is Nigeria’s
National Museumin Lagos, whichhas masks, ancient terracotta, figures and a topcollection of the famous bronze sculpture and ivory carvings produced by the Beninkingdom, which flourished from the 15
to the 17
century(Encarta encyclopedia, 2007).