Egypt Punishes the Leiden Museum for Holding the “Afrocentric” Exhibition

Egypt Punishes the Leiden Museum for Holding the "Afrocentric" Exhibition
Kemite Gallery. Egypt opened in hip hop, jazz, soul and funk at the end of April

NOS News

The National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in Leiden is no longer allowed to carry out excavations at Saqqara, the famous necropolis near the Egyptian capital Cairo. The Egyptian authorities had imposed this ban due to anger over an exhibition that could be seen in the Leiden Museum. NRC Reports.

exhibition kemite. Egypt in hip-hop, jazz, soul and funk Opened at the end of April. According to the museum, it is research to “The Importance of Ancient Egypt and Nubia in the Work of Musicians of the African Diaspora”.

It is mainly about black artists from the United States, who are portrayed as Egyptian icons from the past. Visitor sees Beyoncé and Rihanna as Queen Nefertiti, rapper Nas as Pharaoh Tutankhamun and Eddie Murphy as Pharaoh Ramesses, among others.

Soon after the opening, a torrent of negative feedback came from Egypt. Among other things, the RMO has been accused of collaborating in the appropriation of Egyptian culture. NRC writes that there is now an official e-mail from Egypt’s Antiquities Authority stating that the museum is guilty of falsifying history due to the exhibition’s “African” approach.

to object

The museum, which has been conducting excavations of the Saqqara necropolis with international partners for years, must now stop. RMO director Wim Weijland is outraged by the accusations of falsifying history. “It’s inappropriate,” he told the NRC. “This exhibition has been done with great care. As scientists you don’t accuse each other in that way. So I want to withdraw that qualification.”

The RMO will formally object to the decision. Weijland also wants to talk to the ancient Egyptian authorities. According to the museum, they rely on the published images from their context, which no Egyptian official has yet visited the exhibition in Leiden.

Although Museum Director Wegeland would like to return to Saqqara, he will not make excuses. “And we don’t edit the show either. I’m willing to add a banner with Egyptian captions, but then someone has to come and see it first.”

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