Opening and inauguration of Palais de Lomé Arts Centre and Cultural Park in Togo
Once a symbol of power under the colonial regimes of Germany and France, the former Palais des Gouverneurs and its adjoining park have been restored and transformed to become the Palais de Lomé, an artistic and cultural centre for design, visual and performing arts.
Palais de Lomé will focus on African heritage and contemporary art showcasing the vitality and diversity of national and pan-African cultural works ranging from painting, photography, sculpture, new media and design across the various exhibition spaces and its 26-acre botanical sculpture park.
The unique public arts institution covers nearly 26,000-square-foot. It will house a permanent exhibition space, dedicated galleries for temporary shows, performances, photography and design exhibitions, a bookstore as well as two restaurants. The venue will celebrate Togo’s rich and varied history with a commitment to supporting culture from arts, culinary, science and technology to preserving and sharing the richness of an exceptional environment in the heart of the capital city.
The pioneering arts centre will offer artistic and educational programs through collecting and exhibiting established and emerging artists, including developing initiatives dedicated to implementing cultural exchanges and the interaction of contemporary visual practitioners in Africa with the general public.
Palais de Lomé will open in November with five exhibitions: Togo of Kings featuring traditional objects and artefacts on loan from descendants of various kingdoms, chieftaincies and traditional communities in Togo; Lomé +, curated by architect and artist Koffi Sename Agbodjinou investigating the city of Lomé as an urban space through past, present, and future interpretations; Renovation(s), a photography exhibition documenting the renovation of the Palais featuring the works of photographers: François-Xavier Gbré, Marcel Amouzou and Kodjo Wornanu; Three Borders, a presentation of contemporary artists from Togo, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria and a design exhibition highlighting the work of the late Togolese industrial designer and artist Kossi Aguessy.
Founding Director Sonia Lawson who led the management, design and transformation of the former Palais des Gouverneurs, said of the newly renovated Palais de Lomé:
“Togo’s distinctive past drives our desire to make the Palais de Lomé a place that attracts talents not only from Togo but from other countries in Africa. Togo has a special place in West Africa; it is a cultural hub whose history positions it at the confluence of many of the region’s great kingdoms and peoples.”
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