US Embassy Beefs Up Security At Great Zimbabwe

THE Great Zimbabwe museum is now secure, with state-of-the-art electronic surveillance equipment installed to curb thefts and potential abuse of valuable archeological artefacts.

A statement issued early in the week by the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section says the US Embassy provided the grant and training to secure the national monument.
Implemented by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ), the funding from the US government enabled the NMMZ to procure CCTV systems, battery backups, computer equipment, alarm and fire detection systems and provided training to staff on the use of the new equipment.
Confirming the development, NMMZ Director Dr Godfrey Mahachi told Independent Extra that the support from the US will enhance security at the historic site.
“African heritage sites have suffered heavy losses of cultural objects to theft, and the state of the art security systems that we now have will prevent trafficking of these rare artefacts and remove the immediate risk of permanent loss if stolen artefacts can be authentically identified and recovered,” says Dr. Mahachi.  
The support from the US will also result in the creation of an auditable computerised inventory of all collections and specimens and an archive through which every object and specimen in the collection can be identified by museum officials, police, customs, art traders and the insurance industry.
“Heritage preservation projects allow us to work closely with Zimbabwean organisations, and to affirm our respect for Zimbabwe’s cultures as we jointly identify sites, objects and forms of traditional expression in critical need of preservation,” says James McGee, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
“I am particularly happy to be able to support the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe in the preservation of the Great Zimbabwe Museum. Preservation of the artefacts will prevent the tragic loss of these works and preserve this important historical site for future generations” he said.
The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation assists individuals and organisations preserve museum collections, ancient and historic sites, and traditional forms of expression, helping to reinforce cultural identity and community solidarity.
The Great Zimbabwe site is the most valued and revered in the country and includes a museum and interpretive center. This museum houses many valuable archeological artefacts from the immediate area as well as a collection of stone birds that are a source of national pride and in various forms are Zimbabwe’s national symbols.

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