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Aga Khan Museum acquires massive Lego sculpture of an ancient African metropolis

24 February 2021

The Aga Khan Museum (AKM) in Toronto has acquired a colossal sculpture made from 100,000 pieces of Lego by the Ghanian-Canadian artist Ekow Nimako, who is known for his Afrofuturist reimaginings of Black histories built from Lego bricks. The 30 sq-ft sculpture conceptually envisions the ancient trading town in Mauritania one thousand years in the future, as a vast and complex metropolis once again. The work was the centrepiece of Nimako’s 2019 solo exhibition Building Black: Civilisations at AKM. It was commissioned as a response to the Museum’s concurrent archaeological show Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time, which explored ancient trade routes in the Sahara and their cross-cultural impact, including their role in the spread of Islam.