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Gwenn Dubourthoumieu photographs showing the abandoned ruins of former Congolese president Mobutu Sese Seko.

In Mobutu, the former billionaire dictator, Joseph Mobutu remains Maréchal Mobutu Sesse Seko, the ‘everlasting’.

In 1967, two years after his coup d’état, he transformed the small villages where he was raised into a city with great infrastructure. A dam, a hydroelectric factory, an airport and three opulent palaces all rose from the African bush.

Fourteen years after the President’s departure, nothing remains of these developments.

Destroyed by weather, overwhelmed by vegetation and devastated by robberies, the palaces of the supreme leader are little more than mere skeletons of their former selves, wholly devoid of their former splendor for the eyes of visitors. 

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