From “old four legs,” the coelacanth once thought to be extinct, to sub-Saharan dioramas of early man on the Savannah, we saw them all in museums that were a must on our adventurous holidays while growing up in Africa. And there were displays of the epic discovery of diamonds, the history of consolidation, and chronicles of events that later fueled the mining of gold and altered the continent forever. Spectacular, and they left indelible impressions. But everything was always dusty, red, and oxidized, and so were the custodians on occasion. Moving to London and college in the 1960s, museums were...

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