Radio New Zealand recently reported that Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, has announced 17.5 million US dollars in funding to support the upgrade of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) foremost national cultural institution, Papua New Guinea’s National Museum and Art Gallery. The funding has been announced as a gesture to mark this month’s milestone of PNG’s fortieth anniversary of independence from Australia.
The funding will be provided over a four-year period, and will ensure that PNG’s remarkable museum continues to showcase and preserve PNG’s rich cultural heritage.
Interestingly, the announcement comes amid controversy in PNG over a campaign by the speaker of the national parliament to remove prized traditional objects such as carvings and totem poles from the parliament house as he considers them inappropriate for a christian nation. With the head of PNG’s national museum describing the speaker’s move as “heinous sacrilege,” Australia’s new funding assistance is seen as timely support for PNG’s cultural heritage.
Click here to visit the Papua New Guinea’s National Museum and Art Gallery Website.