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Côte d’Ivoire’s African art museum gets new lease of life

Côte d’Ivoire’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,” as Senegal’s late poet-president, Leopold Sedar Senghor said in a 1971 visit.

Looted four decades later during a political and military showdown, the museum shut its doors for a two-year refurbishment and reopened in July with redecorated rooms, modern lighting and a new conference centre, restaurant and garden.

The first exhibition since the renovation is rightfully called “Renaissance.” It places the spotlight on a selection of a hundred of the museum’s finest pieces, from the palaeolithic era to contemporary art.

“We can consider ourselves lucky to have such a beautiful collection,” museum director, Silvie Memel Kassi said.

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