I visited the Brooklyn museum on Wednesday. It is huge. I was only able to view two exhibitions from the African section, and a new show of American ''impressionists'' exhibiting water color traditions between the 18th century to the 20th century.
As I strolled leisurely through the African exhibition all I could think was that these works were ''stolen'' from my continent. Those thoughts deemed the pleasure of my ''viewing'' considerably. But I was also proud to identify with these works of exquisite beauty and craftsmanship from Mali, Togo, Nigeria, Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, DRC, Congo Brazaville, Liberia, Sierra leone, South Africa, Angola, Namibia and Zambia.
It also made me wonder why in West Africa particularly, we are not able to boast of these kinds of institutions where the best of our national creative treasures should be displayed. Instead we have to go to museums in America and Europe to view our artistic and cultural legacy. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of African governments, for not recognising and appreciating the value of creating a home where our arts and cultures can be preserved for posterity, and as a link between past and future generations.