Belgium’s brutality in Africa haunts refurbished museum


Tervuren (Belgium) (AFP)

Belgium’s notorious Africa Museum reopens on Saturday after a five-year restoration that curators hope will bury its reputation as a colonialist holdover.

Treasures looted from the continent have been repackaged in the hope of contributing to a more healthy debate about Belgium’s brutal past and multicultural future.

But there is an elephant in the room — and not just the giant taxidermic pachyderm looming over visitors to the remodelled Landscapes and Biodiversity gallery.

The former Royal Museum for Central Africa is reopening in the Tervuren Palace outside Brussels amid a renewed European debate about returning stolen artefacts.

The museum’s research team insists the exhibits will now take a much more critical…

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