The Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) has called for the establishment of a committee to lead the return of Ugandan artefacts from foreign museums.
Mr. Herbert Byaruhanga, the President of UTA made the call on Tuesday, as he and association members appeared before the Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industries chaired by Hon. Mwine Mpaka.
According to Byaruhanga, who was presenting on the Museums and Monuments Bill, 2022, several artefacts were taken from different archeological and historical sites by different entities like the British, and to date, these have never been returned.
The Museums and Monuments Bill seeks to repeal the outdated 1967 Historical Monument Act.
Among other things, it seeks to provide for the development, management, and maintenance of museums and monuments, and also formalize, control, and protect tangible as well as intangible heritage and works of art collection.
Byaruhanga said it was a great achievement for several countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that are returning their furtively taken or stolen items and proposed that the Ugandan authorities do the same.
“We only have pictures in museums. The bill should start the process of bringing these artefacts back. We need to constitute a committee to survey, investigate and bring back the artefacts that were taken from places like Bigo bya Mugenyi, Ntuusi, Bwogero, and Nshogezi among others,” he suggested.
On specific provisions of the bill, he proposes that the administration and management of museums or sites should be done at district, community, and supervised levels by a government department.