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Golden rhinoceros art piece from South Africa to leave continent for the first time

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The golden rhinoceros of Mapungubwe has been often compared to Tutunkhamun's mask (from Egypt) and the Mona Lisa (by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci) in terms of historical and cultural importance. 


After years of attempts to bring this significant piece of art to other countries for viewing and appreciation, the British Museum in early August announced that the rhino will feature in the museum's October exhibition "South Africa: the art of a nation."

The figurine is an 800-year-old piece of work, made of gold foil which is pinned to a wooden carving and was uncovered in a royal grave in 1932 but ignored by the apartheid government for decades after its discovery. This is because recognizing and accepting the existence of a sophisticated pre-colonial society would have undermined the legitimacy of the white rule government that was in power. 


Despite being almost a thousand years old, the rhino will be among the younger items in the British Museum exhibition that will span 100,000 years of art. 

Golden Rhino of Mapungubwe

How to make one of your own. If your hands are coordinated enough...

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