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ITM restores paintings of Allard L’Olivier

The restoration is carried out with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation
The main building of the Institute of Tropical Medicine houses a collection of paintings by the Belgian Africanist Fernand Allard L'Olivier. They were made for the 1930 World's Fair in Antwerp and afterwards came to the Institute of Tropical Medicine. The paintings are almost one hundred years old and in urgent need of restoration.

The series depicts the crossing of Lake Kivu, on the border between Rwanda and Congo, and illustrates the daily life of the population. The works give a unique picture of Africanism as an art movement and the way Belgian Congo was portrayed at that time. Stylistically, they are unique testimonies of the times.

When the canvases were hung in ITM in the 1930s, they were removed from their frames and glued to the walls. This was not an ideal choice, as the temperature differences between the walls and the indoor climate can create microclimates, giving free rein to condensation and mould.

Over the years, this led to congestion and water damage to the paintings. The restorers will correct provisional repairs, fix cracks, and touch up the paint where necessary.

The restoration will be carried out with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation's Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund. Restoration will begin in the second half of summer 2022.

More information about the works of Allard L'Olivier at ITM.

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