National Museums of Kenya gets funds to restore Murumbi art

Wednesday August 18 2021
Ethiopian canvas

The art works to be restored include an Ethiopian canvas painting of St. George slaying the dragon. PHOTO | COURTESY


The National Museums of Kenya was selected as a 2021 Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant recipient for the restoration of three artworks from the Murumbi African Heritage Collection.

This grant is one of 23 major cultural restoration projects in 13 countries being funded by Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project.

The company provides grant funding to not-for-profit cultural institutions throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.

The director of antiquities, sites and monuments at National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Purity Kiura, said the art works to be restored are a significant part of the Murumbi African Heritage Collection.

The three works are an Ethiopian canvas painting of St. George slaying the dragon, a Sudanese painting on hide substrate by Salih Mashamoun and a Yoruba beaded textile crocodile.

“The Murumbi African Heritage Collection is unique in that it includes African textiles, jewellery and ancient books that have gone out of print to artefacts collected from all over Africa. It is an extensive private collection of the late Joseph Murumbi, a retired politician who committed his life to the preservation of African Art,” said Dr Kiura.


“With the 2021 selections, we have been able to fund the conservation of over 5,000 individual pieces of art through 195 projects in 36 countries since launching the programme in 2010,” said Rena DeSisto, global arts and culture executive of Bank of America.

Made from delicate materials like skin, paper and beads, the artworks require different levels of restoration.

The conservation process of each piece will be a joint venture between NMK and conservators from the British Museum.