Overview and History of National Museum Lagos

Nuelson Penuel Sunday, October 15, 2023 Basis



National Museum Lagos is a popular tourist destination in Nigeria, known for its impressive collection of cultural artifacts and exhibits that celebrate the rich history and heritage of the country. The museum is located in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria's largest city and commercial capital, making it easily accessible to visitors from all over the world.

History of Nigerian National Museum

The National Museum Lagos is one of Nigeria's oldest and most prominent museums, with a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. The museum was established in 1957 and is housed in a colonial-style building that was once the seat of the Nigerian government during the colonial era. The history of the National Museum Lagos began in 1901 when a small collection of artifacts was assembled by the colonial government in Lagos. This collection included objects obtained from the Royal Niger Company and other areas of Nigeria, as well as items collected from other parts of Africa. Over time, the collection grew, and by the 1920s, there was a significant interest in preserving Nigeria's cultural heritage. This led to the establishment of a museum in Lagos in 1938, which was the first of its kind in Nigeria. The museum was initially located in the Glover Memorial Hall, a building that was named after Sir John Glover, a former governor of Lagos. In 1948, the Nigeria Antiquities Service was created to oversee the collection and preservation of Nigeria's cultural artifacts. The service was responsible for managing the Lagos Museum, and over the years, the museum's collection continued to grow, and its importance as a national institution became increasingly apparent. In 1957, the National Museum Lagos was officially established as a national museum and was moved to its current location at Onikan, Lagos. The museum has continued to grow and evolve over the years, with new exhibits and collections added regularly. Today, the National Museum Lagos is recognized as one of Nigeria's most important cultural institutions and is visited by people from all over the world. Its collections include traditional art, ethnographic displays, archaeological objects, historical documents, and photographs that tell the stories of the Nigerian people, making it an essential resource for anyone interested in Nigeria's rich cultural heritage.

Exhibits of Nigerian National Museum

The National Museum Lagos is divided into four sections, each offering a unique display of Nigeria's rich cultural heritage: 1. Archaeology and History Gallery - This section of the museum showcases the historical evolution of Nigeria, from prehistoric times to the colonial period. The collection includes rare artifacts, such as sculptures, pottery, and other archaeological finds, that tell the story of Nigeria's rich history. 2. Ethnography Gallery - This part of the museum showcases Nigeria's diverse cultural practices and traditions. The exhibit includes displays of traditional costumes, musical instruments, and crafts from the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. 3. Traditional Architecture Gallery - This gallery focuses on the different architectural styles of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria, showcasing a variety of traditional building designs and materials. 4. Art Gallery - This section of the museum houses a collection of contemporary and traditional Nigerian art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles. Additionally, the museum has a children's section where kids can learn about Nigerian culture through interactive exhibits and educational programs.

National Museum Lagos Events

The National Museum Lagos hosts a variety of events throughout the year that celebrate Nigerian culture, including art exhibitions, cultural festivals, and performances. The museum also offers educational programs, lectures, and workshops on topics related to Nigerian history and culture.

National Museum Lagos Visiting Days

The museum is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, with guided tours available upon request. The entrance fee is affordable, making it accessible to all. While visiting, it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and dress in light clothing, as the museum's temperature can be humid and warm.


In conclusion, the National Museum Lagos is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Nigeria's rich cultural heritage and history. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the country's past and present, showcasing a diversity of cultural practices, traditional art, and architecture. Visitors will leave the museum with a greater understanding and appreciation of Nigeria's historical and cultural significance.

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