The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren is one of the world’s most fascinating and visually striking institutions devoted to Africa. The Museum is showcased within a beautiful French neoclassical style building, surrounded by a magnificent park with ponds and French gardens. It displays a unique and extremely varied collection of ethnographic objects, works of art, musical instruments, photographs, maps, films, minerals and animal specimens coming mainly from Central Africa.
Following the success of the 1897 International Exhibition that promoted Congo towards the Belgian audience, King Leopold II decided to establish in the following year a museum that would organise exhibitions. and encourage the study of Central Africa. The present building was built at the beginning of the 20th Century and was officially inaugurated by King Albert I in 1910. After Congo’s independence in 1960, the museum was renamed the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA). From then on, field work and collections covered a much broader area. Today, the RMCA is also an established centre of research and knowledge dissemination and plays an active role in several international cultural projects.
Ever if this museum embodies the early 20th Century colonial perspective, it currently tries to adapt to the new museographic trends and requirements. The Museum is about to engage a general renovation phase (to start in 2011) that will bring a touch of modernity to its classic buildings and display cases.
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