Remembering King Leopold's human zoo

National Public Radio (U.S.) has a story about one of the evils of Belgian colonization of the Congo: King Leopold brought hundreds of Congolese to Belgium to live in a mock African village for public display: “Where ‘Human Zoos’ Once Stood, A Belgian Museum Now Faces Its Colonial Past”.

The site near Tervuren is now part of the current grounds of the Royal Museum for Central Africa. As the story details, it wasn’t a one-off:

Fifty years later, Belgium built another mock African village at the 1958 Brussels world's fair. The Congolese who traveled to Belgium for the exposition thought it would be a cultural exchange, says Zana Etambala, a historian at the Royal Museum for Central Africa.
Instead, they found themselves standing behind a bamboo fence, on live display for Europeans, some of whom made monkey noises to get their attention.
"They were throwing bananas and peanuts to [the Congolese]," says Etambala, who grew up in Belgium and Congo. "And the Congolese protested against that. They wanted to be respected and not seen as animals in a zoo."

The Royal Museum today is undergoing a renovation that will bring some of the horrific stories of colonial abuses into the public displays.