Leopold Gives to New York Museum

December 13, 1907

Brussels, Thursday — King Leopold intends creating a museum of natural history in New York for everything connected with the Congo and has made an offer to this effect to the city authorities, who have accepted it. The King is taking the greatest interest in the project and has instructed the directors of the proposed museum that two great halls will be required to contain the specimens he intends to contribute, besides the examples of ethnology and zoology of the Belgian colony.

The King is contributing interesting frescos, which will form a background, representing the daily life the inhabitants, while revealing the natural beauties of Congo.

To make the collection thoroughly complete the directors of the museum are sending special commissions to Africa to bring back information relating to the history, resources and government of Congo.

Relics From Congo Reach New York

Dr. Herman C. Bumpus, director of the American Museum of Natural History, corroborated the statement of the cable dispatch last night. he said that King Leopold’s gift had been accepted by the Board of Trustees of the Museum and that several specimens from the Congo sent by the ruler of the Belgians had been already received. The two halls to be dedicated to the purpose will be among those now being constructed as parts of addition to the present building.

“As the Herald cable announces,” said Dr. Bumpus yesterday, “it has been decided to send a special commission to Africa to investigate the matter along the lines indicated by King Leopold’s purpose and to select the best specimens in ethnology and zoology available. When that commission will start has not yet been determined.

“As to the value of the King’s donation nothing could possibly be said at this time because nobody could possibly know beyond the unquestionable fact that it will be great. It is hardly necessary to say that it will be the finest in American, because there is practically nothing of the kind in America, but, according to the present outlook,it will be the finest,the largest and altogether the best collection concerning a virtually unknown country in existence anywhere, with the possible exception of England.”

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