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‘Africa’ in Banská Bystrica

AN INTERACTIVE exhibition that first opened at Bratislava’s Children’s Museum showing the lifestyles and rituals of Africans has now travelled to two sites in Banská Bystrica. Thurzo’s House of the Central-Slovak Museum is offering one part of the exhibition, called Travels around Africa, until July 29 and the other part, Colourful Nature, is housed in the Tihányi Manor House in the Radvaň area of Banská Bystrica that also belongs to the museum.

Interactive exhibits are popular with children. (Source: TASR)

AN INTERACTIVE exhibition that first opened at Bratislava’s Children’s Museum showing the lifestyles and rituals of Africans has now travelled to two sites in Banská Bystrica. Thurzo’s House of the Central-Slovak Museum is offering one part of the exhibition, called Travels around Africa, until July 29 and the other part, Colourful Nature, is housed in the Tihányi Manor House in the Radvaň area of Banská Bystrica that also belongs to the museum.

Roman Hradecký, the museum’s head, noted that its exhibition has been made possible through the cooperation of the Slovak National Museum’s Detské múzeum (Children’s Museum), the African Museum of Emil Holub in the Czech Republic and painter Štefan Kocka.

“Last year, the exhibition was offered in the Children’s Museum [in Bratislava] but we adapted it to our rooms and conditions,” Hradecký told the TASR newswire. The interactive nature of the exhibits means that children visiting Thurzo’s House can learn what it is like to be an African child and enter a Bedouin tent or the dwellings of the Dogon or Maasai people.

The Tihányi Manor House offers children the experience of feeling the inhospitable conditions of the Sahara Desert and what it is like to live in a rainforest. Adults also enjoy the interactive exhibits but are attracted as well to the paintings by Štefan Kocka, who visited Kenya and painted portraits of members of the Maasai tribe.

The exhibition also features a collection of personal items collected by adventurer Emil Holub from his trips around Africa in the 19th century that were loaned by the Emil Holub Museum in Holice.

Holub collected and donated innumerable items to museums and schools after his travels and the items he donated in 1895 are part of the permanent collection of the Central-Slovak Museum and are on display in the current exhibition.

The museum is supporting a UNICEF project called Schools for Africa and visitors can contribute to the project during the exhibition. Juraj Mišura, the chair of the Slovak UNICEF Committee, told the TASR newswire that the fundraising campaign has been ongoing for several years and seeks to provide resources for building and reconstruction of schools in 11 African countries as well as training for teachers.

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