The Royal Museum for Central Africa
MIM’s founding chair Bob Ulrich (second from left) and Diane Sillik, along with board member Marc Felix (far right) visited the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren, Belgium, on June 20. Others pictured above are Guido Gryseels, RMCA director, and Bart Deputter, head of RMCA’s educational service.
The RMCA has been a major partner of MIM for the past four years, lending its instruments on a long-term basis, engaging in reciprocal executive-level visits, and advising MIM on educational programs. Deputter was recently at MIM to visit with the education team and exchange information. Retired ethnomusicologist Jozef Gansemans, former head of RMCA’s Anthropology Department, served as guest curator for MIM’s early exhibits on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Formerly known as the Congo Museum, the RMCA was built in 1898 at the initiative of the Belgian king, Leopold II, following Belgium’s colonization of the Congo. Today, the RMCA has the largest collection of Central African musical instruments in the world. Of its 8,200 instruments, approximately 75 percent are from the DRC (formerly Zaire).