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Royal Museum for Central Africa

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The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, http://www.africamuseum.be/museum), located at Tervuren, in the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium, is a unique museum of its kind. The idea of building such a museum dates back to 1897 following the World Fair and should be seen within the historical framework of the European race for the conquest and domination of Africa. King Leopold II was the leading force in Belgium's presence in Central Africa and such endeveaour has passed to history as one of the most ruthless and brutal colonizations ever. The museum, which was built between 1904 and 1910 modelling after Versailles and the Petit Palais in Paris, intended to reflect the European colonial view of Africa at that time. The museum collection has hardly changed since the 1960s and has kept the Europe-biased approach to the Black continent purposefully as a telling source of historical manipulation and eurocentrism.

The museum houses premier collections of ethnographic objects from Central Africa, the entire archives of Henry Morton Stanley, a film library and a photographic library, historical maps and geological data. The RMCA is a world centre for research and dissemination of knowledge about past and present societies and natural environments in Central Africa and of the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular. A new look into the colonial era encouraged the organisation of the exhibition "Memory of Congo. The Colonial era" in 2005 (http://www.congo2005.be/).

The museums is going through a major renovation process to be expected to finalise in 2010 for the celebration of its 100th anniversary.

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