Why the Art Museums Are Closed

Why the Art Museums Are Closed

A dialogue with Africa

about the ancestral images

that the West looted

from the continent is inevitable.

Without this dialogue,

all the museums in the world,

all the art galleries,

all the exhibition spaces,

are uninhabitable spaces

with artworks that have rendered blind

all the collectors and their friends,

all those who support them.

Even after the end of Covid 19,

museums with images looted from Africa

are not habitable

nor are they sustainable or healthy.

All the homes with artworks

plundered from Africa

are not hospitable

nor are they safe or blessed.

All the galleries with artworks

burgled from Africa

are cursed places

nor are they living but dead.

All the spaces with objects

pillaged from Africa

are haunted corridors

nor are they warm but cold.

A plague on them

those who enjoy works

sacked from African shrines

or seized without mercy.

May the Covid visit their sitting rooms

those who collect these stolen goods

and pass them off as their own

or display them as their trophies.

These stolen works

have brought Africa

tears, anguish and madness

struck her dumfounded

destroyed her cities

shattered her comfort

just as you laugh and feast

enjoying her taken wealth.

Is this not the reason why

your museums are closed

because you also shut down

her ways of life

changing the course of her river

to run dry with blood?

Do you want to talk to her

beg her for forgiveness

to enjoy her blessing

or do you want

forever to remain

the heartbreaking art thief?

This precisely is why the museums

are closed, shuttered and haunted.

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