Located about 30 kilometers north-east of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Loango’s open-air museum has become an essential sanctuary for many national and foreign tourists who love granite sculptures.
On a surface area of about one square kilometre in a mineral universe, amidst dry grasses, sculptural forms spring up during campaigns organized annually.
Rosalie Nayaga a tourist said, ‘‘we are very astonished to see these works sculpted by Burkinabes. But there are no women among the sculptors. We need gender equality. And so the ministry must make an effort to train women sculptors’‘.
With the help of hammer, chisels and other perforaters, the artists give a glimpse of African themes, while at the same time, giving a touch of Modernity. The first sculptures here date back to 1989. These works by eighteen artists from thirteen different countries, retrace the cultural past of black people in general and particularly for the people of “Mossi” in Burkina Faso.
Over the years, other artists have given free rein to their imagination and their desire to create here.
“Today, Laongo has more than 300 sculptures. We have this site here and there is another site. The first edition took place in 89. It would have been a good thing to organize an exhibition every two years but since 1989, we have not been able to achieve that largely because of inadequate of funds. We do not have external funding”,Laongo granite sculpture site initiator said.
Burkina Faso’s Minister of Culture, Issouf Sawadogo, is determined to promote its cultural programmes.
‘‘We are going to accompany the site because culture is an industry. For now, we are in a country where we import more cultural goods than we export and we have to be able to reverse the trend,” Issouf said.
Authorities are now planning to open a school, a health centre and a theatre at this site.