The National Museum of Liberia is a national museum in Monrovia, Liberia. Initially housed in the First Executive Mansion on Ashmun Street of the city which is now used as a library, it was established by an Act of the National Legislature in 1958 under the administration of Liberia’s 18th President, Dr. William V.S.
This museum was established in 1958 with support from UNESCO to obtain, preserve, and display cultural artifacts and other historical items which depict the country’s heritage. Although it was looted during the 14-year war, it still manages to keep to its mandate, by exhibiting captivating pictures and artefacts about Liberia’s past—including its people, history, materials, and culture. The museum is organized in three tiers, each exhibiting different relevant materials.
The Museum was damaged and looted during the Civil War
Rebuilding a museum after the civil war is daunting, especially when the museum building is damaged and its collection looted. Approximately five thousand objects disappeared from the Liberian National Museum during fourteen years of fighting between 1989 and 2003, which killed an estimated quarter-million people. 1Add the long-standing contested history between descendants of freed American enslaved peoples who settled here in 1821 and the sixteen indigenous ethnic groups over whom they took control and ruled, and the process becomes even more complex. Throughout its history and even today, Liberia has faced significant economic, political, social, and cultural challenges. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected president after the war, invested in restoration and new exhibitions at the Liberian National Museum. “I can only hope that this structure, the memories that are placed here will serve as a unifying force; as a reconciling force that Liberians through the waves of their history will see that they are one,” she proclaimed at the November 27, 2017, opening.