Le Méridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort | National Museum Oron
National Museum Oron was officially opened in December, 1959 thereby became one of the first to be built in Nigeria.
It was actually the first Museum to be built in the whole of south eastern Nigeria. In his assessment of Nigeria’s Museum for UNESCO, Bernard Fagg (1963: 128-29) described the Oron Museum as follows:
“… Oron Museum is the only museum so far set up in the Eastern Region and serves as a base for the Ethnographic survey of the region….. owning to its geographical position, the Oron museum will develop on local rather than regional lines----“
The Nigerian civil war unfortunately affected Oron Museum such that by April, 1967, the staff “Rest House” in the Museum ground was occupied by Biafran Soldiers. The museum was seen to be situated at a strategic point near the beach, so, concrete gun emplacements were built on the embarkment at the water side. On 21st of October, 1967 the museum was bombarded four time whereby the Rest house and the exhibition gallery were all badly damaged and several of the Show cases broken. The Biafran authorities arranged for Oron museum collections to be evacuated to Umuahia, and eventually to Lagos. When the surviving carvings and other objects were eventually taken to Lagos, there were one Hundred and sixteen (116) out of the six hundred and sixty one (661)Ekpu figures which existed at the beginning of the war, and according to KC. Murray, an unduly large proportion.
The determination of the federal Government to preserve her cultural heritage led to the rehabilitation of the museum during the 1970s. Reconstruction work began at the same site in Oron in 1971 the aim being the build a museum more national in character than the previous one and using the bulk of the reminant of the Ekpu collection as an important focus for the enlarge exhibition.
The official opening of the National Museum, Oron took place on the 15th of April, 1977.
Since the official opening, the Museum has continued to contribute to the development of the south East region and the nation in general.
Hours of operation; Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm