Exhibition showcases German cultural preservation in Rwanda

Masozera (L) shows a guest some of the 15 cultural heritage projects at the Kandt House Museum . Emmanuel Kwizera

A temporary exhibition in Kigali is showcasing different aspects of the history of German history in Rwanda, as well as 15 other countries.

The exhibition that started on Friday evening at the Kandt House Museum will run for ten days,  presenting the cultural preservation projects of Germany in 15 countries including Rwanda, Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Laos, Mali, Morocco, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Palestinian territories and Syria.

The exhibition has 15 cultural heritage projects preservation supported by Germany since 1981. Emmanuel Kwizera

“A world of cultures or Kulturwelten in Germany, the exhibition was organised by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda.

The exhibition presents pictures, as well as writings about German activities in different countries from about 100 years back. For the case of Rwanda, the exhibition has pictures and information about Richard Kandt, the first German imperial resident in Rwanda, and the imperial administration unit set up in Nyarugenge in 1908.

Renate Charlotte Lehner, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Germany embassy in Rwanda (R) with other guests at the event

Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Robert Masozera, the Director General of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda, reiterated the importance of cultural heritage conservation, calling for efforts towards preserving historical heritage between Rwanda and Germany,

“In Rwanda we still have cultural heritage to preserve, which like Kandt House are a carrier of shared memories between Rwanda and Germany. Among these is another residence in Shangi sector in Nyamasheke district where Kandt used to stay, and a First World War boat which sank in Lake Kivu,” he said as they requested for corporation with Germany to preserve the heritage.

Robert Masozera, Director General of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (L) inspects the exhibition Photo by Emmanuel Kwizera

Masozera also saidKandt house was the only museum which depicts the history of colonial times in Rwanda.

Renate Charlotte Lehner, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Germany embassy in Rwanda hinted on the relevance as far as Rwandan heritage is concerned. Here, she reminded people that Richard Kandt among other things made Rwandan coffee an export commodity, as well as introducing a monetary economy and postal system in the country.

Giving examples of the dark history of Europe which was characterized by many wars and conflicts, Lehner pointed out that protection of cultural heritage will help create hope, self-image and future liability. She also echoed similar sentiments about Rwanda.

Some of the items showcased included Pipes and a fish catching basket. Emmanuel Kwizera

“Rwanda has a difficult heritage and past as well. This year Rwanda marks the 25th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. The new generation asks me the same questions: what is the human being, what is man supposed to do in the world, what can man believe, and what can he know, and what can he hope, and how should people live together?” she said.

The exhibition will go to Huye after a ten-day show in Kigali.