It has been buffeted by the pendulum swing of domestic politics and suffered looting that left it without some of its most precious items.
But Ivory Coast’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, reopening 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.
“It’s an asset – a collection of 15 000 pieces from across every region.”
But she still mourns the pillage that occurred in 2011, during a post-electoral time of anarchy in the Ivorian economic capital, Abidjan, that claimed some 3 000 lives.
“That really left us with a bitter taste in the mouth,” she said. “The items that were looted [120 items] were major works: sacred pieces, objects made of wax… Our estimate is that almost €4bn was lost, Memel Kassi said.
In the coming months, the museum plans to put on a “ghost collection” exhibition to keep the memory of the vanished pieces alive and to promote recognition of illicit trafficking in historical objects, which circulate in a market financed by many private collectors who are often not overly troubled by origins.
Founded in 1942 when France was the colonial power in much of west Africa, the museum is itself a work of art with 20 columns finely sculpted in wood.
The renovated premises give special place to contemporary artists with a hall set aside for people like Ivorian sculptor Jems Koko Bi, while the garden displays recent work.
“We deliberately speak of the museum of civilisations,” the director said.
“We wanted to show that the artists whose creations are today regarded as ‘ancient works’ are the very same as Africans producing contemporary work.
“We’re living through a renaissance even at national level with cultural and artistic development… We have the ancient aspect in the museum collections and the contemporary work in the creations of young sculptors.”
The museum is also planning an exhibition to highlight ties between Picasso and Ivorian sculpture on the heels of a “Primitive Picasso” show at the Quai Branly, the Paris museum dedicated to the indigenous art and cultures of Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas, which opened in 2006.
More than 10 000 people have visited the museum in Abidjan since it reopened, but the curator hopes to raise this figure tenfold over the course of the year, since tourists are returning to the country.
Engaging students and schoolchildren in the collection is also a priority.
“The museum is also the memory of a people,” Memel Kassi observed. “It’s important to see it discovered by the Ivorians.”
Erdogan, confident that Trump will waive sanctions on Turkey.
Source: Reuters- U.S. President Donald Trump has the authority to waive sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russian air defense systems and should find a “middle ground” in the dispute, President Tayyip Erdogan says.
First parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system are unloaded from a Russian plane at Murted Airport, known as Akinci Air Base, near Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019.
Erdogan’s comments came two days after NATO member Turkey took delivery of the first consignment of advanced Russian S-400 missile defense system parts, despite warnings from Washington that the move would trigger U.S. sanctions.
Broadcaster Haberturk quoted Erdogan as telling Turkish journalists that Trump “has the authority to waive or postpone CAATSA”, referring to U.S. sanctions designed to prevent countries buying military equipment from Russia.
“Since this is the case, it is Trump who needs to find the middle ground,” Erdogan said, according to Haberturk.
Trump expressed sympathy for Turkey’s position when he met Erdogan at a G20 summit in Japan last month, saying Ankara had bought the S-400s from Moscow because the previous U.S. administration would not sell it the Patriot defense system made by Raytheon Co.
“Right now, I don’t believe Trump is of the same opinion of those below him and he has said this in front of all the world’s media,” Erdogan said. “By buying the S-400s, we are not getting ready for war. We are trying to guarantee peace and our national security.”
Despite Trump’s warm words, U.S officials said last week the administration still planned to act.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Washington Post in an interview published late on Sunday “the law requires that there be sanctions and I’m confident that we will comply with the law and President Trump will comply with the law”.
U.S. officials have said Turkey could also be thrown off the F-35 stealth fighter jet program in addition to the threatened CAATSA sanctions,
Meaning it would no longer be part of the production process or be able to buy the jets it has ordered.
The Pentagon says the S-400s would pose a threat to the jets if they were operating in the same region.
Erdogan said Turkey had orders for more than 100 F-35s made by Lockheed Martin and expected Washington to remain committed to the deal.
Erdogan said Turkey still wanted to buy Patriot missile defense systems from Washington and the two countries should be aiming to increase trade and work on “comprehensive defense cooperation”.
“Trump has always viewed this positively,” he said. “ … Now, at a time when we are discussing mutual trade volumes of $75 billion, $100 billion, will we be dealing with this gossip? Why should we? We are strategic partners, let’s do what strategic partnership entails.”
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Nigeria: Actress Regina Daniels Married to Billionaire Ned Nwoko? Here’s Why I married Her.
We all heard that Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels is customarily married to businessman/politician, Ned Nwoko who happens to be 59 years old (Not like it matters). They had a customary marriage ceremony at Asaba which was the hometown of the Daniel’s.
Hon. Ned Nwoko, a former member of the House of Representatives, is 59 (Like we mentioned earlier, not like it matters again) and his newest wife, Regina is 18 years old meaning that he had or maybe has four other wives. The billionaire politician also happens to be a muslim and can lawfully have as many wives as his relgion allows (Your research can start afterwards)
Also, he cited his royal background as another factor for his harem of women.
Recall that Ned Nwoko married one Miss Nwakaego Ukachukwu, his Special Adviser on Legal Matters and also gifted her a N20 million BMW car as well as a posh mansion in a high-brow area in Abuja.
Married to five wives, Nwoko has been the one splashing cash and spoiling Regina Daniels silly with expensive gifts. He bought her the expensive cars including a house in GRA Asaba which the actress brandished on social media some weeks ago as a gift to her mother, Rita Daniels.
Don’t forget little Regina flaunted a N3.3m Rolex wristwatch, some days after her gift to her mum.
Obviously, Regina has been dating the billionaire for at least over a year or close to two. When asked if Ned Nwoko could be accused of cradle-snatching, sources close to him hinted that Nwoko didn’t touch her until she was of age.
It was also gathered that Mr. Nwoko sometimes flies the actress to Abuja on his private jet to one of his cozy homes where he also enjoys quiet times with her.
The wedding ceremony, which held last weekend was a private affair as the few family members invited were instructed not to take photographs. There wasn’t much glitz as many would have wanted and everybody complied with the wish of the couple to have a discreet ceremony.
Her mother, Rita Daniels, is also an actress. Currently, a Mass Communication student of the Igbinedion University, Benin, she became a social media sensation recently when she started flaunting luxury on her Instagram page. From flying private jets to different parts of the world to flaunting luxury cars, she became the kind of newsmaker acting never afforded her.
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