The sheer scale of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a statement. With undulating walls like a mountain fortress, the hulking 1920s grain silo on Cape Town’s Waterfront — once the tallest building south of the Sahara — opened last week as the world’s largest museum of 21st-century art from the continent and its diaspora. Softly protruding "pillow" windows reflecting Table Mountain turn the building into a lantern at night. A new beacon for art, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Mocaa) will guide and dazzle. Inside the soaring space-age atrium, art installers were suspended like astronauts alongside an airborne dragon of rubber inner-tubing, ribbon and bone. The mythological crooner of deathly Xhosa lullabies, created by Capetonian Nicholas Hlobo for the 2011 Venice Biennale, is among the art the museum aims to preserve. The fate of the Benin bronzes is on the mind of the museum’s South African executive director and chief curator, Mark Coetzee, "now that muse...

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