Preserving one of Nigeria’s last sacred groves

According to Kacey Hadick, CyArk Director of Programs and Development, CyArk’s work in Osogbo has been a true collaboration between Nigerian government officials, local NGOs, the community of Osogbo and His royal highness Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun Larooye II, who have partnered with CyArk and are working together to share the stories of Osogbo with a wider audience.”

Although the 2019 flood was a devastating loss, it reinforces the importance of using a variety of tools to preserve the world’s cultural and spiritual places, from digital documentation to on-site restoration work. And this project highlights the broad spectrum of preservation that, in this case, can help protect a rich Yoruba cultural heritage – through 3D models, Street View, archival and contemporary photographs, video and audio interviews and written stories.

Olufemi A. Akinsanya Akinsanya is Chair of the Save Our Art! Save Our Heritage! Campaign. He says, “We want to expose the world to this incredible Yoruba heritage and art treasure, introduce the remarkable artists of the New Sacred Art Movement who saved it from destruction in the 1960’s and champion the next generation who are preserving it now.”

While a virtual experience of the site can never replace the real thing, we invite you to get lost in the Sacred Grove of Osun Osogbo and experience its art, culture, and preservation like never before on Google Arts & Culture.

This work forms part of the Google Arts & Culture Heritage on the Edge project, which tells of how people around the world are using technology to help protect cultural sites against the effects of climate change.

Google Arts & Culture and CyArk have collaborated with cultural heritage site managers to carry out similar digitization training sessions. Learn more about the stories of five other cultural sites impacted by climate change in Scotland, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Peru and Rapa Nui.