Title: Belgium’s Africa Museum Had a Racist Image. Can It Change That?
Author: Alex Marshall
Media Outlet: The New York Times
Publish Date: December 8, 2018
(…) Mr. Gryseels recited the names of some of the statues: “Belgium Brings Civilization to Congo” and “Belgium Brings Security to Congo.” He sighed: “See what we’ve had to deal with?” The statues could not be removed because the building is protected by heritage laws, he added.
The museum’s solution has been to commission contemporary artworks to sit opposite or next the offensive items. In a memorial room that contains a wall with the names of Belgians who died in Congo, for instance, an artist uses a projector to superimpose the names of Congolese victims of colonialism. (…) King Philippe of Belgium had been expected to appear at the renovated museum’s official reopening on Saturday, but pulled out because of the controversy. There was speculation that the king would use the event to offer an apology for Belgium’s colonial adventures, and many were disappointed by the decision.”