What Does CMA CGM’s Exceptional Shipment Carry To France?


  • The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in transport and logistics, knows how to mobilize its expertise for unique cargo, like when it transports the masterful works of the artist Ousmane SOW from Senegal to France.
  • These sculptures will be the centerpieces of an exhibition starting July 2021 on the site of Mont-Dauphin in the French Alps.

The CMA CGM Group has set up a partnership with the National Monuments Center of France as well as with the French and Senegalese Embassies in order to ensure the transportation of 35 works from the series “The Battle of Little BigHorn” in the best condition, says an article published in CMA CGM.

Sculptures Delivery

These sculptures are gigantic statues with an iron frame covered with clay and a weight ranging from 90 to 200 kilos. Loaded in three CMA CGM containers in March, they will reach France at the end of April.

Exceptional Shipment

Through this exceptional operation, a tribute to the universality of Ousmane SOW’s work, the CMA CGM Group takes its part in the cultural cooperation between France and Senegal and supports the global image of Senegalese art.

During the next 10 years, the sculptures will be displayed in the fort of Mont-Dauphin, a stronghold erected by the famous French military architect Vauban during the 17th Century and now registered on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list.

Ousmane SOW – The Sculptor

Born in October 10, 1935 and deceased in December 1, 2016 in Dakar, his career as an artist was as short as it was dazzling. Ousmane SOW only agreed to reveal his work for the first time at the age of fifty. His “Nubas” sculptures were immediately recognized and are today emblematic of his art. Presented in 1987 at the French Cultural Center in Dakar, the Nubas were exhibited in 1992 at the Document in Kassel, and in 1995 at the Venice Biennale.

Exhibition in France

The series entitled Little Bighorn, installed in France, seemed to me a fitting return for a country that hosted the exhibition of Ousmane SOW in Paris on the Pont des Arts in 1999, and that also named him a member of the Academy of Fine Arts.

How could I imagine a better place to set up this battle than this Vauban stronghold, in the heart of a virgin nature so dear to the American Indians?

The Sculpting Journey

Moreover, it is France that welcomed him at the age of 22, at the death of his father who fought for France in the First World War. It is also in France, where he lived for twenty years, that he studied physiotherapy.

It is only at the age of forty-five that he decided to return definitively to Senegal and created his first large sculptures that he will mount for the first time at the French Cultural Center.

CMA CGM Transportation

I had met Frédéric Malevialle, General Manager of CMA CGM Senegal, through a mutual friend. I knew the reputation and seriousness of the CMA CGM Group.  Frédéric Malevialle studied the file with me and it was a pleasure to start with this tailor-made accompaniment which eventually led to a partnership agreement.

It would have been impossible to consider an air transport which would have required the manufacture of crates much too voluminous for 11 horses and 24 people.

In Senegal, everything went perfectly, in a friendly atmosphere, and with a common will to participate in this project which will contribute to the perpetuation of Ousmane SOW’s work and will perpetuate the link between Senegal and France through culture.​

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Source : CMA CGM


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