African art in unexpected places: ruins of the Benin Kingdom palace at the Antwerp Zoo

Antwerp zoo Benin Kingdom mural a

A new category on the blog, “African art in unexpected places” wants to show African art where you least expect it. Last weekend I finally got to photograph the “ancient” ruins of the palace walls of the Benin Kingdom, preserved in a monkey cage in the Antwerp Zoo! These walls were clearly inspired by the famous brass Benin plaques from Nigeria. The monkeys not even being African, I wonder what the idea behind this was. It’s rather intriguing, especially as none of the other cages are decorated… the monkeys clearly were indifferent, so not a big success.
Antwerp zoo Benin Kingdom mural Bruno Claessens

Don’t hesitate to share a picture if you would run into African art in strange surroundings as well!