Quai Branly Peers Into Africa’s Past

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Walking up a spiral walkway, curiosity mounts as Africa’s beauty is brought to life. There are costumes, masks and other materials placed behind glass windows.

[Eyes On Paris]

 

Everybody may know the Georges Pompidou Centre also known as the Art and Culture Museum, or the big François Mittérand  Library. What about an oriental museum that offers visitors old African artefacts?

Last year, Jacques Chirac inaugurated the new Quai Branly Museum in Paris on the 20th of June 2006. People come from everywhere to see Paris’s new addition. Notable visitors were Kofi Annan, Rigoberta Menchù, Paul Okalik, Dominique de Villepin, Lionel Jospin, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, and of course, Chirac himself. Stéphane Martin is the museum’s president.

Located in the sixth arrondissement, in the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower, the Quai Branly presents objects from Asia, Africa, Oceania and The Americas.

Chirac depicted the museum as an “incomparable aesthetic experience, and a lesson on humanity essential to our times.” Those who have had the opportunity to visit the museum do not leave disappointed. Not only do they appreciate the historical figures that are presented, but also the architecture of the museum, which was created by Jean Nouvel.

Stepping into the larger than life structure, the atmosphere is dark and mysterious. Walking up a spiral walkway, curiosity mounts as Africa’s beauty is brought to life. There are costumes, masks and other materials placed behind glass windows. Spectator’s imagination begins to rise in wonder.

The details in each object are brought out with slightly dim spotlights to emphasize specific aspects and to bring out a magnificent splendour leaving visitors in absolute awe. Continuing up on the extravagant adventure, visitors have the opportunity to sit on benches engraved into the side of the walk way’s thick grips.

“I expect to see the museum open up a new perspective of our country,” Claire Ferte, a visitor says.
“A great experience,” declares Monsieur Morange, another visitor, as he exits the museum. “Although we do know about Benin I was not at all disappointed and I even had the chance to learn more about the country.” He was referring to the museum’s Benin Exposition.

The museum “provided a new aspect of a different culture,” adds Anne-Sophie Delor. “It is very interesting and it also helps our future generations attain a deeper comprehension in a different culture that is also part of our own country.”

The museum opens a doorway into another important culture of civilization.

 

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