Tuesday, October 17 - Wednesday, October 18, 1995
We break up the long flight home with two days in London. On the flight I sleep some, Sigrid does not. We visit galleries in the neighborhood of the Ritz Hotel, shop for books on Africa, and have an excellent Thai meal at the Blue Elephant in Chelsea.
On Wednesday, we attend Africa, The Art of Continent, a wide ranging exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. In the exhibition we find one of the eight carved soapstone birds found at Great Zimbabwe. It’s provenance is in the show catalog: "1889, removed from the Eastern Enclosure of the Hill Ruin, Great Zimbabwe; sold by W. Posselt to Cecil John Rhodes."
Looking at the bird in the exhibit we come full circle and are transported back to the beginning of our trip, touring Great Zimbabwe. There, our guide, Prospah showed us replicas of the birds and taking us to the empty pedestals where the birds were found. Sigrid remembers Prospah lamenting that fact that most of the birds had been taken from the country, and his hopes that they will eventually be returned. "Not bloody likely." I think.
We may see this bird again, when the exhibition moves to the Guggenhiem in New York next year. Prospah will probably never see it.
NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: This is a back-post / cross-post from my first on-line journal/blogging effort - a journal of our Southern Africa Tour in 1995. Originally posted to an abandoned domain (NetSnake.com), the term "blog" had not yet entered the parlance. I am migrating the original posts to this blog. Links to the original journal Date Index or Africa Tour Home Page will likely eventually disappear. The images from the original post were graphics and screen caps from video which I am leaving in it's low-rez glory for historical integrity. My intent is to also add some of Sigrid's higher quality scanned photos to these blog back-posts. The difference in images should be obvious.