Chief Nkuko in the MAS 100 X Congo exhibition


Times are strange,

I was at the MAS museum last week here in Antwerp to see the interesting exhibition “100 X Congo”beautiful but also critical, in the interesting catalog it is mentionned some of those objects where taken by force ( Like the Nail figure from chief Nkuko that I studied here)  and that at the turn of the century African people where exhibited in the Antwerp Zoo, and that many of them died from the flu . It’s a change from the period where those crimes where hidden and that there was only praise for the colonialist that where bringing “civilisation” to Africa. We now know better and can praise the MAS for also involving Congolese scholars in the research, that’s refreshing. .

See the pictures I have taken at the MAS:

But isn’t it going a bit far when the MAS Belgian conservator who also has Congolese roots Nadia Nsayi and who collaborated to do the catalog with experts from the Kinshasa museum, is pleading on television to discuss the return of those important African art objects to Congo, finding our attitude paternalistic.
Aren’t museums an Universal place for everyone, should we realy try to change the past and empty our museums from our best objects ?

There was also an activist Mwazulu Diyabanza who came to Antwerp to claim the return of the African art and chief Nkuko to Congo ( see image below) , strangely enough during his visit he wasn’t able to identify the Luba staff but seemed to be able to give an explanation on it’s spiritual signification

La Statue Nkisi Kondi de l’AfricaMuseum qui a été récolté par le Lieutenant Delcommune près de Boma le lendemain d’une expédition ou il avait brûlé le village qui refusait de se rendre aux ordres de Leopold II ( read more at )

Last but not least ending this sunday I have Five African Art lots at auction for you to discover

David Norden African Art. Sint Katelijnevest 27. B2000 Antwerpen. Belgium.

Phone: +32 3 227 35 40                                    email:

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