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Friday, August 6, 2021

African art museum Bronze Kingdom in danger of closing

Posted By on Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 12:33 PM

click to enlarge Bronze Museum owner Rawlvan Bennett says his I-Drive museum of African art is in danger of closing. - PHOTO BY MATT KELLER LEHMAN
  • Photo by Matt Keller Lehman
  • Bronze Museum owner Rawlvan Bennett says his I-Drive museum of African art is in danger of closing.

An African art museum on International Drive is in danger of closing its doors.

According to Bronze Kingdom owner Rawlvan Bennett, the museum housing thousands of pieces of African art might soon shutter.

“The reason is COVID. COVID-19, we open up during the middle of COVID which was out of necessity, because we couldn't stay — continue to stay closed or else we would have never open our doors at all,” Bennett told WESH. “We're hoping that over the course of the next few days, we can raise enough capital that we can satisfy our landlord and that we will be able to keep our doors open.”

The Bronze Museum opened in 2017 inside the big and doomed Fashion Square Mall. A new facility to International Drive better suited the museum's mission to bring African art to travelers who come to Orlando.

"The world comes to Orlando," Bennett explained in a 2019 interview with Orlando Weekly. "I wanted to be in a place where I could get these wonderful artifacts seen."

That move gave them room to expand, with a restaurant opening in the new space earlier this year. However, the museum appears to be in dire straits. As always, it is accepting donations at its website.

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