In a few days time the Museum of the Quai Branly in Paris will open its doors, and in spite of its name, which gives nothing away, it promises to be an innovating museum concept. It has taken all of ten years to stamp this project out of the ground and turn it into reality. The world of non-European art is impatient in view of the importance of this event. This initiative has created such enthusiasm that it has already started to produce the firs positive results. All those who have been involved in the project from nearby or from afar, deserve our congratulations. We must in particular express our thanks to the President of the French Republic, Mr. Jacques Chirac, and his friend and adviser, our dear departed colleague Jacques Kerchache, for having initiated this project and for having turned it into reality by means of a true cultural approach. We would also like to congratulate the museum board for its wisdom of choosing advisers amongst the art traders and collectors.
With respect to this opening, we regret to find that in spite of some good intentions the authorities of our country do not have any kind of federal museum policy. The Tervuren Museum, which owns a remarkable and large collection of Central African Art does not seem to have sufficient means available to improve the presentation of these genuine treasures, nor take advantage of its possessions by means of thematic exhibitions that would place these rarely seen objects in the limelight.
The same can be said about privately owned cultural gems, which are endangered because of the unreasonable attitude of some decision-makers who are hardly concerned about saving these national treasures, though their dispersion or transfer to foreign more hospitable institutions would look like another wasted opportunity.
And how about the Museum of Kinshasa that has been the target of organized looting and that seems doomed to disappear for lack of local support and interest.
Adventure "3B" carries on! The meeting of galleries that specialize in tribal, oriental and antique art opens up new horizons that we can all benefit from. Brussels, the heart of Europe, seemed destined to hold such a large-scale event. In order to make this formula even stronger, our synergy will be displayed in three successive private views, culminating in the Weekend of the Great Civilizations.
As we are aware that this is a particularly important year, the members of BRUNEAF have each reserved a quality object for the 2006 catalogue and tried to present the optimal selection. The entire collection is homogeneous and of a very good standard and proves that Brussels remains the prime source of non-European art.