Musée national de Lubumbashi
The National Museum of Lubumbashi, or Musée national de Lubumbashi, is a renowned museum located in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Falling under the purview of the Institute of National Museums of Congo (IMNC), a part of the Ministry of Culture and Arts, the museum is a testament to the rich and diverse cultural history of the region.
Founded in 1958, the museum has undergone several name changes, reflecting the shifting cultural and political landscapes of the time. It was initially known as the "Elizabethville Museum," then renamed the "Leopold II Museum" or "Cabu Museum" in honor of its founder, Dr. Francis Cabu. In the 1960s, it became the "Katanga Regional Museum," before finally being dubbed the "National Museum of Lubumbashi" in 1970.
The museum is now housed in a striking building designed by the architect Claude Strebelle. It was established by the Belgian professor Francis Cabu in 1946, who wanted a place to display the findings from his archaeological excavations. Over the years, the museum has amassed an impressive ethnographic collection, in addition to a significant entomology collection. These collections, along with the museum's regular schedule of temporary thematic exhibitions, make it a rich repository of cultural heritage in the DRC.
In 2000, the museum, which had begun to languish due to lack of resources, received a new lease on life. Major renovation works were undertaken, funded by the Rachel Forrest Foundation and Dialogues. The latter also established a contemporary art gallery within the museum. The Royal Museum of Central Africa in Brussels has also been collaborating with the Lubumbashi Museum to promote the historical, artistic, and cultural heritage of Katanga.
Today, the National Museum of Lubumbashi stands as a beacon of cultural pride in the region, preserving and showcasing the rich and diverse history and heritage of the DRC. It serves as a vital link between the past and present, offering visitors an immersive journey through the many facets of Congolese culture.
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