Stolen/missing objects

The objects in the RMCA's collections are the inalienable property of the Belgian State. Their possession and resale are illegal.

Any person with information concerning pieces that are missing or stolen from the RMCA can contact the institution:
dir@africamuseum.be 
+32 2 769 52 74

Background to the disappearance of pieces EO.1955.3.8 et seq.

In 1956, an agreement was ratified between the RMCA and the Institut pour la Recherche Scientifique en Afrique Centrale (IRSAC - Institute for Scientific Research in Central Africa). This agreement concerned a deposit/loan of 15 Bembe and Lega pieces from the RMCA's collections for the IRSAC’s scientific needs.
These objects never returned to the RMCA after the independence of current-day DRC, and their current locations are, for 14 of them, unknown.


 

EO.1955.3.8
Ivory polycephalous figurine
Lega
11.3 cm

 

EO.1955.3.20
Ivory figurine
Lega
16.5 cm


 

EO.1955.3.47
Ivory figurine
Lega
14 cm


 

EO.1955.3.84
Ivory spoon
Lega
18.2 cm


 

EO.1955.3.100
Wood mask
Lega
19 cm


EO.1955.3.101
Wood figurine
Lega
14.3 cm

Reappearances:

  • In 2010, the piece was part of the exhibition GEO-graphics: A Map of Art Practices in Africa, Past and Present (Brussels). It was listed on page 301 of the exhibition catalogue.
  • In 2011, the object was exhibited during Arts d’Afrique voir l’Invisible (Bordeaux). It was listed on page 120 of the exhibition catalogue.
  • In 2015, the piece was displayed as part of the exhibition Uzuri Wa Dunia Belgian Treasures (Brussels). It was listed on pages 110-111 of the exhibition catalogue.


 

EO.1955.3.103
Ivory cephaloid figurine
Lega or Bembe
9.5 cm


 

EO.1955.3.108
Ivory anthropomorphous spoon
Lega
19.3 cm

Reappearance:

The object was present in the Carl Provost collection in 1972.

Spoon published in
CORNET, J., 1972, Art de l'Afrique noire au pays du fleuve Zaïre, Arcade, Brussels fig. 153


 

EO.1955.3.110
Ivory sickle
Lega
30.4 cm

Reappearance:

Unknown private collection

Published in : BOURGEOIS, A. P. & RODOLITZ, S., 2012, The Face of Sunset: African Art of Life, Transformation and Death, Zarya Publications, New-York: object nr. 128


 

EO.1955.3.114
Ivory statuette
Lega
13.5 cm


 

EO.1955.3.125
Ivory polychephalous statuette
Lega
22.5 cm


 

EO.1955.3.126
Bone spoon
Lega
15.9 cm


 

EO.1955.3.135
Ivory mask
Lega
11.7 cm


 

EO.1955.3.170-4
Wood statue
Bembe
43.5 cm

Reappearance:

The object was presented in the Gaston T. de Havenon collection in 1971.

Statue published in
ROBBINS, W. M., 1971, African Art: the de Havenon Collection, Museum of African Art, Washington, fig. 238


 

EO.1955.3.170-7
Wood statue
Bembe
49.1 cm

 

 Background to the disappearance of pieces EO.0.0.34412, EO.0.0.36563 and EO.0.0.36539

These ivory pieces disappeared from the RMCA's storerooms under unknown circumstancs, in all likelihood between 1960-1980.


 

EO.0.0.34412
Ivory pendant
Songye
19.5 cm


 

EO.0.0.36563
Ivory mask pendant
Pende
5.7 cm


 

EO.0.0.36539
Ivory mask pendant
Pende
6 cm

 

 Background to the disappearance of piece EO.0.0.36560

This object was reported missing from the RMCA's collections on 27 January 1966.


 

EO.0.0.36560
Ivory mask pendant
Pende
5.8 cm

 

Background to the disappearance of piece EO.0.0.20769

In 1960, this small mask was loaned out as part of the Kunst fra Kongo exhibition held in Lyngby (Danemark). The object was stolen at the end of the exhibition.


EO.0.0.20769
Polychrome wood mask
Songye
18.2 cm    

Reappearance:

On 19 September 2009, the auction house Zemanek-Münster had its 58th Tribal Art Auction. The mask featured in the auction as lot number 116.