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Karen Blixen loses original touch

Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi still attracts a high number of visitors and tourists, both local and foreign.

Its past, rich history speaks for itself and is the main reason it has remained a preferred destination for people out to sample the menu Nairobi County has to offer.

Today, however, much has changed and most of the facilities and features at the museum, managed by the National Museums of Kenya, is a replica of what they were in the last century.

Even though visitors still get a feel of what life was at the time, they will miss the real deal as what is on display has undergone adjustments and is not the original.

A tour guide at the museum, David Odhiambo said the facility was turned to a museum through a Danish government grant in the 1970s.

He said although renovation work had been done, some areas were wearing out.

Sub-divided estate

In addition, prior to the purchase of the building that was converted into a museum another tenant Remy Marin lived on the property.

He sub-divided the land into 20 acre parcels for development, which created the present suburb of Karen.

More so, most of the furniture similar to what Blixen used, had to be imported after the house was re-purchased. The size of the land today is just a fraction left.

“At the time when Blixen still planted coffee, a mysterious fire gutted sections of the factory and a replica had to be imported,” adds Mr Odiambo.

However, a famous movie Out of Africa which was acted at the museum site, has made it possible to transport viewers back to the days of the colonial era. It gives a highlight of the life Blixen lived in Kenya.

The film shows the struggles and challenges she went through, which included her failed marriage to Baron Bror von and later on with her pilot boyfriend Denis Finch Hatton.

BY ABIUD OCHIENG, [email protected]