Reopening of the Royal Museum for Central Africa – AfricaMuseum

It was previously called the Royal Museum for Central Africa. Renamed AfricaMuseum, the world’s largest museum dedicated to Africa reopened in Tervuren in early December, after five years of intense work. Time that was used to renovate the buildings and revise how the History, marked by the colonial era, is told.

Internationally recognised as the reference institute on Central Africa since the 1960s, the museum has the world’s richest collections about this part of the African continent.  With the aim of becoming a modern museum, the building closed in 2013 so that construction and renovation work could be carried out in terms of both content and infrastructure.



Renovated buildings

The museum’s infrastructure was over a century old and the permanent exhibition was outdated. The museum is now suited to the needs and requirements of the 21st century. After a five-year renovation, the new centrepiece has been unveiled: the building itself.

The new visitor centre is now limited to the ground and first floor so that it can be harmoniously integrated into its lush green surroundings. It is linked to the museum building by a 100-metre underground gallery which is the main entry and exit for the museum.



Revised content

“Our objective was to become a modern museum about the Africa of today, while including a critical look at our colonial past.” This is how Guido Gryseels, Director General, defines the new positioning of the museum which aims to be a venue for debate and meetings for all those interested in Africa.

Consequently, the museum offers the chance to discover life in Africa through a contemporary narrative and varied themes including languages and music, biodiversity and landscapes, natural resources and their paradox and rituals and ceremonies. The collections presented are both historical and modern.

Contemporary art also plays an important role in the new permanent exhibition. AfricaMuseum focuses on building a sustainable relationship between Africa and Europe, resulting from the colonial history shared by Central Africa and our country.

Much more than a museum, the institution will continue to be an internationally-renowned centre for research and knowledge dissemination about the societies and natural environments in Africa and particularly Central Africa.