Arts & Culture
Walking in the capital one cannot fail to notice the monumental sculptures, especially along the esplanade of the Parliament Building and the University Marien N'Gouabi. Many Congolese sculptures, like their counterparts across Africa, have not yet set clear lines between art and artisan work. Supported by their children, who often work as apprentices, sculptors in Congo often sculpt for long hours using white, red, black, and gray wood found in abundance in the equatorial forest. These artists not only create figurines and big sculpture but also handicrafts that they sell to finance their work.
In 2001, the Ministry of Culture and Arts and UNESCO supported the French Institute (former French Cultural Center) and the Meridian hotel to set-up an annual art festival dubbed the ArtisanArt festival. During the festival, a prize is awarded to the best arties and lectures and introductory workshops are organized for participants.