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The show

On 27 October 2023 the AFRICA exhibition opens in the Chiablese Halls. The forgotten collections, curated by Elena De Filippis, Enrica Pagella and Cecilia Pennacini, created by the Royal Museums with the Regional Directorate of Piedmont Museums and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the University of Turin (MAET), the collaboration of CoopCulture and the support from the Santagata Foundation for the Economy of Culture for the program of collateral activities.

Between 2022 and 2023, the Royal Museums and the Regional Museums Directorate conducted recovery and restoration interventions on the African collections present in the deposits of the Royal Armory and in the collections of the Castles of Aglié and Racconigi, and supported research projects on the albums photographs preserved in the Royal Library of Turin and in the two Savoy residences: hundreds of works, saved from oblivion, have been cataloged and restored. During the project, the need emerged to engage with experts in African history and with the communities of origin to build a dialogue, an intercultural bridge and a key to access the contemporary reality of the new citizens, coming in particular from the Horn of Africa. From this reflection arose the collaboration with the MAET and with the conceptual artist Bekele Mekonnen Nigussu, professor at the University of Addis Ababa, who, thanks to the mediation of Lucrezia Cippitelli, was a guest at the Royal Museums for a research residency, aimed at creating a site-specific work for the exhibition.


Africa. The forgotten collections presents, from 27 October 2023 to 25 February 2024, over 150 objects including statues, utensils, amulets, jewels, weapons, shields, drums and photographs from the Savoy collections and from the MAET of Turin, with loans from Palazzo Madama – Museum Civic Museum of Ancient Art of Turin and the Museum of Civilizations of Rome. The itinerary is divided into five sections, organized around the Turin personalities present in Africa in the second half of the nineteenth century, whose collections merged into public collections.

The first section, Italians in Africa: explorers, adventurers and consuls, is dedicated to the collections, between 1857 and 1890, of Giacomo Antonio Brun Rollet, explorer of the sources of the Nile in Sudan, of Vincenzo Filonardi, shipowner and consul in Zanzibar in 1882, and by Giuseppe Corona, active in Congo.

The ways of exploitation: engineers in Congo focuses attention on the contribution of Turin engineers and technicians such as Pietro Antonio Gariazzo, Carlo Sesti, Tiziano Veggia and Stefano Ravotti engaged in the construction of colonial infrastructures in Congo, with a selection of weapons, musical instruments, fabrics and artistic and everyday objects.

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Piazzetta Reale, 1
10122 Turin

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