Cours intérieure du roi Guézo, Abomey
Récade du roi Glèlè, coll. Musée de l'Homme - Photo B. Hatala
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Today a town in the Republic of Benin situated on the Gulf of Guinea, Abomey was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Danhomè (Dahomey). It is about 65 miles from the coast. The Royal Palaces in the heart of the city are major material evidence of this civilisation.

The Abomey Historical Museum was created by the French colonial administration in 1943. With a surface of about 5 acres, it is situated on the palatial site and comprises the palaces of King Guézo and King Glèlè. The entire palatial site extends over approximately 108 acres and has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list since 1985. It is a culmination of history, living culture and tourism.

Extensive conservation work and the enhancement of buildings and collections have been carried out since 1992. The Italian Cooperation programme has been the most generous donator, financing the PREMA-Abomey programme for a total amount of 450.000 USD through its funds in trust at UNESCO. Other donators also contributed to the work : ICCROM's PREMA programme, UNESCO, the World Heritage Centre, the Getty Conservation Institute and Sweden.

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