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Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye

Curator of slave museum in Africa

February 24, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye, 86, curator of Senegal's historic House of Slaves, died Feb. 6 in Dakar, according to an announcement from the country's culture ministry.

Ndiaye oversaw the memorial on Goree Island, off the coast of Senegal, for more than 40 years. The island was used to hold captured Africans before their perilous voyage to the Americas.

"He was the main architect of the defense of the memory of the Atlantic slave trade, the man most fervent and unrelenting against any revisionism," said Hamady Bocoum, director of cultural heritage at Senegal's Culture Ministry.

Ndiaye was born Oct. 15, 1922, in Rufisque, near Dakar. He was among the soldiers from French colonies who fought for France during World War II and the Vietnam War.

After leaving the service, he worked for a time in business before dedicating his efforts to the House of Slaves.

Over the years, he hosted a number of famous visitors, including President Clinton, South African President Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II.

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