Guido Gryseels receives Golden Medal for opening Belgian-African debate on colonialism

Guido Gryseels, former Africa Museum director for twenty years, was awarded this Saturday 10 December the Gold Medal from the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences and Arts (KVAB). 

“He nuanced the difficult debate about colonialism and colonial legacy in a post-colonial era and opened dialogue with Africans and the Diaspora. He reminded the young people that we have a history in/with Congo," announced the KVAB.

“Very touched, very proud, but also humbled when I see who has already received the prize before me,” reacted Gryseels in an interview to Belgian newspaper BRUZZ. “I think it is the best recognition of my professional career," he added.

Gryseels was born in 1952 in Alsemberg, studied Economics at KU Leuven and Agricultural Economics in Australia. After an international career, including in Rome and Ethiopia, he returned to Belgium and from 2001 to August 2022 worked as the general director of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren, also known as Africa Museum. Under his leadership, the museum was completely renovated.

“Years ago, 90 percent of the population had a positive view of colonialism. Today it is completely different, with less than 40 percent. I think our museum contributed to that," Gryseels told BRUZZ.

Science Policy

KVAB also handed over its triennial Prize for Science Policy to Professor Bruno De Wever for his research into the Flemish Movement.

Every three years, the KVAB awards this prize to a person, group or organization that has made an important contribution to the popularization of Science. De Wever, professor of History at Ghent University is a specialist in the history of the Flemish movement and the Second World War. For decades he conducted groundbreaking research on this subject and successfully translated it to a wider audience.



#FlandersNewsService | Guido Gryseels during the reopening of the Africa Museum in Tervuren 5 December 2018 ©BELGA PHOTO (THIERRY ROGE)

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