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Museum brings African land art to National Mall

Thursday - 4/25/2013, 4:20am  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new exhibition on the National Mall is delving into historic and modern-day land issues in Africa.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art opened its first major exhibit focused on African earthen arts this week, looking at how Africans relate to the environment. The show, "Earth Matters," includes 100 artworks by 40 artists from 24 nations, ranging from the 1800s to today.

Curator Karen Milbourne says the story begins in 1807 when the international slave trade was made illegal. It follows the increased demand for natural resources from Africa over time and looks at contemporary issues, such as territorial disputes and mining for minerals used to make iPhones.

The museum commissioned three outdoor sculptures displayed in the Smithsonian Gardens on the mall.

"Earth Matters" is on view until January.

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