The Heart Of Afric Royal Ontario Museum Controversy

3686 Words15 Pages
1. Into the Heart of Africa – Royal Ontario Museum Controversy.
Into the Heart of Africa, an exhibition presented by The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) that was curated by guest curator Dr. Jeanne Cannizzo was a source of much contention between the people and the museum. The exhibit was inspired by an interest in exploring the hundreds of African artefacts – which had been stolen and collected during the European colonization of African countries – that have been stored by the ROM for over a hundred years. Through this collection of artefacts, Cannizzo intended on retelling the story of Canada’s involvement in the European colonization of Africa. Cannizzo led the planning and designing of the exhibition, however the ROM had significant
…show more content…
One of the curators involved claimed that the intention of the exhibition was to “acknowledge Canada’s colonial past by examining these cultural artefacts and the processes by which they had been collected. Also to show off that White Canada had a somewhat less than perfect understanding of the richness of complex African societies.” Yet, regardless of the intent, the execution of the exhibit failed, miserably. The ROM began to face what is to this day, one of the greatest controversies they’ve had to face.
While the exhibition had its fair share of people who supported it, a large group of individuals did not, and they were not afraid to make their voices heard. The issue at hand was the way the objects had historically been possessed and controlled. The artefacts had been collected through the military; they were responsible for stripping African countries of anything and everything they deemed valuable, even religious idol and sacred objects. ‘Collectively, they left nothing in Africa which struck them as valuable’. And so since the artefacts remained in the possession of the more dominant peoples, the objects were not able to tell the true story, they were being limited as it was being told through the lens of Dr. David Livingstone, a
    Get Access