Conservation image

This award-winning documentary is the story of the successful collaboration between the Republic of Benin and the Getty Conservation Institute to preserve the heavily damaged bas-reliefs that once adorned the Salle des Bijoux, or "Hall of Jewels," part of the official palace of King Glélé in Abomey.

The royal bas-reliefs of Abomey are like pages in a history book, recalling landmark events in the life of the Fon people and their rulers. They connect the modern Beninois to their ancestors in the powerful Kingdom of Dahomey, which was at its peak in the 18th and 19th centuries. With a visual vocabulary rooted in voudou imagery, the bas-reliefs are a source of pride and cultural identity, a living tradition, and a repository of information about the past for this West African nation of five million people.

History Told on Walls chronicles the efforts to conserve an important part of the past in order to help build a stronger future. 

43 minutes
VHS format color

ISBN 0-89236-473-4 English
ISBN 0-89236-474-2 French