Located in Kanombe about 4kms from Kigali International Airport is the Rwanda Art Museum. Formerly the presidential place in the 70s and late 2000s it was converted to the presidential palace museum that served as a heritage site for the remains of the FALCON 50s presidential jet that was shot down on April 6th 1994.As of May 2018, the grounds were changed to the art museum displaying contemporary art from both Rwandan and international artists.
I arrived on a particularly grey wet morning along with Leila and proceeded to the reception where a friendly man informed us of the entrance fees and what not;1000 francs for locals and 3500 francs for East Africans such as myself. To view the wreckage remains was 10,000francs.since we wouldn’t be allowed to photograph the place I declined, to me it would defeat the purpose of me being there.
We went in with our guide, a rather joyless lady in a mushanana (traditional attire) whose demeanor matched the weather perfectly, we were asked to leave our shoes outside. Going in the exhibitions are very attractive and well displayed. We saw works from various artists including Medard Bizimana, Eugene Gumira, Jean Claude Sekijege and international artists from Belgium, Serbia, Congo and Togo. The central themes of the work, all on the ground floor are Genocide and Family and lifestyle.
Going up an elaborate staircase, the upper floor housed a temporary fashion exhibition featuring Mathew Rugamba of House of Tayo, Anina Baeger, Creative Studios among others.
The guide then took us to a separate building outside to artwork for sale. From here you could see the remains of what must have been a nice pool way back when. And that folks was it. Someone had mentioned to me something about a former python enclosure and secret passage ways, I’m guessing these were covered under the wreckage tour, I highly doubt it though. The whole experience took about 40 minutes.
If your into art, I’d say give it a go. It’s a really lovely place that gives you an idea of the opulence it had back as a presidential palace and the Art is pretty solid.