Relocation of some exhibited collections from Natural History Museum to Museum of Environment in Karongi district

Photo: Truck carrying ollections to Karongi

The Natural history museum commonly known as Kandt house, that has been exhibiting both Rwanda’s colonial and Natural heritage, will effective from 4thSept 2017 only focus its exhibition on Rwanda and Germany shared history during the colonial period. This former residence of a German explorer that became the Natural History Museum since 2004, initially exhibited Rwandan flora, fauna and geology as well as showcasing the collaboration between Germans and Rwandans during colonial time.   

On Monday 4th September 2017, some of these collections exhibited were relocated to the museum of environment in Karongi district. According to Mr. Isidore Ndikumana, Director of Culture Tourism Promotion Unit at Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR), puts it clear that, “these collections relocated are those related to environment and geology, that include minerals, soil and stuffed animals (taxidermy art). Living reptiles including snakes and crocodile will remain here as long studies are still being conducted on how and where to display them”. However, the Natural history Museum will still exhibiting German and Rwandan past legacy during the colonial epoch. In this respect, INMR is planning to set up a new exhibition by December at Kandt house and after the exhibition will be ready, launching will be scheduled thereafter, He adds. Upgrading The exhibition of museum of environment is in line with completing some information which was missing on the existing exhibition.

Answering to the media’s question about reason of exhibiting living reptiles, Mr. Isidore said that exhibiting these living reptiles (snakes and crocodiles) made a considerable increase of visitors from around 100 visitors to 1800 visitors per month. Furthermore, this This exhibition is very useful for young students, as it is a complement to what they are learning at school.

Dr. Ulrich Schmidt a German expert, who is helping in setting up Karongi’s exhibition and relocating these collections, said that the relocation will facilitate their preservation as the museum of environment is modern and large enough.  About Rwandan historical archives kept in Germany, Dr.  Ulrich mentioned that they are thinking about it through collaboration with German Government to give copies of traditional songs recorded and other objects, but due to the type of technology used at that time (1910s) some were destroyed.


Photo: Amb. Robert Masozera DG INMR

Amb. Robert Masozera, the Director General of Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR), said that Museums should exhibit artefacts and collections matching the content. This is in line with visitors’ wishes and suggestions during their visits. He said, “Natural history museum (Kandt house) will still exhibiting both pre-and post-colonial era, impacts brought by Germans in Rwanda as well as the collaboration between Rwandans and Germans during that period. This newexhibition will contribute to the increase of both visitors and revenues”. Amb. Robert Masozera, further noted that, “INMR is targeting to receive two hundred thousand visitors (200.000) worth 200 million Rwf by next year”.

We remember that Kandt House is the first modern architecture set in Kigali in 1908 and was a residence of a Germany explorer Dr. Richard Kandt who came in Rwanda around 1897 to discover the source of river Nile.

By Jean Paul Mugwaneza