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Friday, November 15, 2019


(Dick Breytenbach)

The Durban arts and crafts world is saddened at the news of the recent death of Richard “Dick” Breytenbach. Very much involved with the founding of Phansi Museum, he made a major contribution to Durban through his passion for the arts.

Paul Mikula, founder and supervising trustee of Phansi Museum, pays the following tribute:

“We are mourning at Phansi. Our close friend, Richard Breytenbach, died last weekend. Dick had the skin of a lawyer, while inside him beat the heart of an adventurous artist and arts activist. Together we spent the millions given to us by the Hugo Bartel Trust for the Arts. We helped realise the Rainbow Nation when we built the famous BAT Centre. We supported hundreds of disadvantaged students with bursaries. We believed that could make South Africa great.

Dick was the chairman and patron of the African Art Centre. He was on the board of Opera Africa, where we financed choirs. We helped establish the Durban Music School in downtown Durban, which currently has 600 students on bursaries, and acts as a Community Centre.

The famous BAT Art, Craft, and Tradition Calendar is now 25 years old, and is still distributed free to hundreds of schools throughout the province.

The Bartel Arts Trust joined with Phansi when we decided to expand the museum, so that as many people as possible could see our collection of Ubuntu Art. Our aim is to reunite people with their roots, show them the art, and tell the stories of the ancestors.

In the absence of promised funding, the Trust has kept our doors open for thousands of schoolchildren who visit the museum, and many adults who rediscover their roots here. We hope to build on those roots for the future. Thank you, Dick.”

Phansi Museum is situated at 500 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood, Durban. Contact 031 206 2889 or email: