Lome, Togo – It is a scenic walk along the driveway leading to the entrance of Lome’s new centre for the arts. The sun glints through the branches of centuries-old trees, lining a path set within thousands of square metres of lush parkland.

The incessant chirping of birds and the dull thud of my feet against the packed red earth are the only sounds to be heard within the vast compound. It is not long before the canopy of boughs and path give way to a large gravel clearing. A grand, white, two-storey vision rises from the ground, gleaming against the blue sky.

Set on an elevated foundation, a wide stone staircase leads up into the whitewashed arcades of Palais De Lome in Togo’s capital.

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