Google to digitise and exhibit Kenya’s museum collection


Google Cultural Institute and Art Project director Amit Sood. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and tech giant Google Wednesday launched a project that will digitise and showcase the museum's collections online.

The Google Arts and Culture project dubbed “Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya” will also tell stories from 28 communities around the country.

Speaking after the launch in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Amina Mohamed said the project is part of the government's one-year plan to digitise Kenya’s key museums.

"This will enable audiences explore the country's cultural heritage, which then provides us with a connection to forgotten social values, beliefs and customs," said Ms Mohamed, adding that the exercise will encourage real-life visits to the country's museums, monuments and heritage sites.

NMK director-general Mzalendo Kibunja stated that the platform offers a more efficient way for cultural institutions to produce and preserve cultural goods for consumers.

"With the museums of Kenya having over 10 million specimens, this is the best way for us to showcase our wide range of samples around the country," Dr Kibunja said.

Google Kenya country director Charles Murito said supporting the project highlighted the tech firm’s support to preserving and promoting Kenya’s culture.

Google said the online exhibition is Google Arts and Culture’s most ambitious project in Africa to date and the result of a one-year large-scale-digitisation exercise.

The Google Arts & Culture online platform gives users access to high-resolution images of works housed in its project partners’ museums.

Kenyans can use the Google Arts & Culture app to view the treasured exhibits on the platform.