NATIONAL Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) chief curator, Raphael Chikukwa, has revealed the gallery’s interest to open a branch in Victoria Falls and described the resort town as very strategic.
Chikukwa said the resort town was very strategic because it was a favourite destination for foreigners with a knack for visiting museums.
Speaking on French President Emmanuel Macron’s commissioned report of 2017 that encourages the return of African artefacts held in French cultural institutions, Chikukwa told NewsDay Life & Style that the return of art looted during the colonial era and taken to Europe and America, would require the construction of new museums.
“What a gesture? The return of looted objects! This will heal colonial wounds. That’s why it is so important. Africa can benefit from its own heritage and let’s not be apologetic about that. Let’s invest in building museums so that when the artefacts taken by colonial masters come back they will find a place where they can be housed,” he said.
“If ever looted artefacts are to return, we need to build museums. We have a gallery in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare. We now need a gallery in Victoria Falls and then Masvingo. A national gallery is a national pride. This is just an idea and we will unpack it when it’s ripe.”
Chikukwa said former colonial masters used legislation such as the Witchcraft Suppression Act to loot artefacts from the indigenous people.
“The Witchcraft Suppression Act was a legislation of looting and that explains why our Zimbabwe bird ended up there,” he said.
Source : NewsDay