The Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (IPNGS), located on Angau Drive next to Nambawan Trophy Haus in Boroko, Port Moresby is approaching its 50th Anniversary and with this, will be revamped with new changes to its buildings.
That’s according to Professor Don Niles, former Acting Director and senior ethnomusicologist in a recent social media post as seen on the National Cultural Commission Facebook page. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the IPNGS building is the outstanding black metal sculpture on the outside walls and gates that depict an Orokolo Myth from the Gulf Province.
This was a myth told by Sir Albert Maori Kiki, designed by Georgina Beier and executed by first year apprentice electricians and diesel mechanics and is a metal sculpture that continues to be a very distinctive feature of the IPNGS landscape.
In 1977, IPNGS’s “temporary” building was officially opened, coinciding with the premiere of the film Gogodala: A Cultural Revival, by IPNGS filmmaker Chris Owen. But there were already plans for a new building, designed by architect Zbyszek Plocki. Sadly, adequate funding was never obtained, and additions and modifications to the original building have been slow and minimal since then.
Over the years, outfitted shipping containers were added to safely store archival materials, and office space was slightly expanded to accommodate increased staff. IPNGS became a national cultural institution under the National Cultural Commission in 1994, but the grand structure envisaged to proudly reflect an institution focussed on documenting and safeguarding the cultural heritage of this country never materialised.
But, as IPNGS approaches its 50th anniversary, there are some dramatic changes underway, particularly as the National Cultural Commission’s Executive Director, Mr. Steven Enomb Kilanda, has prioritised infrastructural developments.
The new changes will be overseen by the IPNGS Acting Director Mr. Christopher Puio and will include new offices and others planned. The archival and library facilities will also be expanded, updated and modernized.
Many of the old housing and trees have already been removed to allow for the construction of a conference centre to showcase presentations, discussions and host gatherings on cultural activities by staff and local and international visitors.
The Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (IPNGS) was established as a National Cultural Institution under the National Cultural Council when the Cultural Development Bill was passed in the House of Assembly on 14 October 1974.