Sun, Mar 09, 2014 - Page 12 News List

African art hub

Long known for being one of the embarking points for many African slaves on their way to America, Ouidah is now home to a new contemporary arts center, where the works of 14 renowned African artists are on display

By Cecile De Comarmond  /  AFP, OUIDAH, Benin

Like in Cotonou, the entrance in Ouidah is free and the visitors are typically very young.

Eight-year-old Achmine Atindehou said she was on her second visit to the Zinsou Museum and had already grown very confident in her arguably peculiar tastes.

“I like the drawing Living Memory (by the British-South African artist Bruce Clarke) because it is nice. It is about death,” she said.

Museum director Claude Aktome said often children come with their school classes and then persuade their parents to bring them back.

Romuald Hazoume has exhibited his paintings, sculptures and photographs in London and New York, but became emotional when recalling his first showing in Benin, the country of his birth.

“It was the first time that I saw young people from Benin coming to admire my work,” he told AFP. “I cried that day. I was so moved.”

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