Museum of Civilisations

It suffered looting that left it without some of its most precious items. But Ivory Coast’s Museum of Civilisations is now back, and determined to recover its place as one of the richest museums of Af

Published: 24th October 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2017 12:40 AM   |  A+A-

It suffered looting that left it without some of its most precious items. But Ivory Coast’s Museum of Civilisations is now back, and determined to recover its place as one of the richest museums of African art in the world

A place of incomparable wealth
Senegal’s late poet-president Leopold Sedar Senghor called it a place of “incomparable wealth” during a visit in 1971. But it was pillaged four decades later during post-electoral anarchy in the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan, according to AFP

“The items that were looted (120 items) were major works: sacred pieces, objects made of wax ... Our estimate is that almost four billion CFA francs (six million euros)” were lost, AFP quotes the museum director Silvie Memel Kassi as saying

Palaeolithic to the present
Founded in 1942 when France was the colonial power in most of West Africa, the museum is itself a work of art with 20 columns finely sculpted in wood. The first exhibition in the refurbished museum is titled ‘Renaissance’. It places the spotlight on a selection of a hundred of the museum’s finest pieces, from the palaeolithic era to contemporary art

It’s an asset—a collection of 15,000 pieces from across every region … We deliberately speak of the museum of civilisations … The museum is also the memory of a people
Museum director Silvie Memel Kassi to AFP

Picasso and Ivorian sculpture
The museum is planning an exhibition to highlight ties between Picasso and Ivorian sculpture on the heels of a “Primitive Picasso” show at the Quai Branly, the Paris museum dedicated to the indigenous art and cultures of Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas

Stay up to date on all the latest Opinions news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.