Between Regionalization and Centralization: The Creation of the Musée Léopold II in Elisabethville (Musée national de Lubumbashi), Belgian Congo (1931 1961)
History & politics
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Since museumland was revisited in the 1980s, different authors have studied the history of colonial museums in Europe within a broader discussion on colonial bias, the creation of traditions and the theory of representation. It has become clear, for example, how African utensils were exported to Europe, where they were exhibited as curiosa, ethnographical objects or art. But what happened when the very notion of the museum was exported back to Africa? Who created these institutes and in what context? Was the relationship between colonizers and colonized altered? Did the social life of the objects on show change? And what was the relationship between the old museums in Europe and the new ones created in the colony? These questions have rarely been studied. In this article, the creation of the Musée Léopold II will be used as a basis to offer insight into the links between colonial science and policy , which proved not to be as monolithic as often portrayed, but rather were complex amalgamations of different opinions and even conflicting interests.
CitationCouttenier, M. (2014). Between Regionalization and Centralization: The Creation of the Musée Léopold II in Elisabethville (Musée national de Lubumbashi), Belgian Congo (1931 1961). , History and Anthropology, Vol. 25/1, 72-101, Routledge,