The story behind the pirogue of the RMCA…

The 22.5 m long pirogue weighing 3,500 kg is one of the treasures of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA). It was used by King Leopold III during his trip in the Congo in 1957  and was especially made for the expedition on the Ruiki river. The pirogue reached the museum on January 3, 1958 with the help of the Belgian army.

Jacques Deschepper, an intelligence officer for the provinces of Kivu and Maniema in 1957, was chosen to accompany King Leopold III of Belgium and Princess Lilian on their seven-week trip in Congo.
Special thanks go to Jacques Deschepper who, an amateur video maker himself, recorded these images.

Due to the renovation of the RMCA the pirogue had to be moved. Since 17 February 2014 and until the RMCA reopens in 2017, the pirogue can be admired among the aircrafts at the Royal Museum of Armed Forces in Brussels.

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