The Belgium-based Africa Museum and the government of Rwanda are in advanced talks to renovate the National Museum, located in Huye, Southern Province, with the aim of promoting cooperation and preserving the country’s history.
The initiative to strengthen cooperation with the former colonies is currently in the final stages of discussions, pending its implementation.
Amb. Robert Masozera, director general of the Academy of Cultural Heritage of Rwanda, confirmed the development to The New Times, but said the project is still at its technical level, before being validated.
Masozera said the project has two main goals, including the renovation and “decolonization” of the museum.
“The idea is not only to update it in a modern way, but we also want to decolonize the facility,” he said.
For example, Masozera pointed out, if you look at most of the archives, it’s pretty much pre-colonial information and we want to update that and also take into account the history of the country after its independence.
According to Masozera, the proposed new design should accommodate a global view and new perspectives on the modern and contemporary view.
Guido Gryseels, director general of Africa Museum, said his institution plans to make the national museum a contemporary museum.
He said part of the plan is to work with Rwandan scientists.
“We believe that this museum is extremely important for understanding the history of Rwanda and the richness of its culture, so it is important that it continues to receive strong support,” he told the media.
Since 1989, the National Museum has played a key role in the development of the country, including the preservation of history, as well as the generation of income for the country through tourism.
It is located in Huye district on the road to Nyungwe National Park, 132 km from Kigali.
It is also the largest and best known of all the museums in Rwanda. The museum has some of the best ethnographic and archaeological collections in East Africa with over 10,000 artefacts.
The renovation The developments envisaged in the plan include the repair of the roof of the ethnographic museum of Huye, as well as the expansion of the museum beyond the building to the complex.