Abstract: Emil Holub (1847-1902) was Czech medical doctor and explorer who in the 1870s and 1880s undertook two widely publicized journeys to the interior of southern Africa. He amassed natural and ethnographic collections (including rock paintings and carvings cut out of the) that are nowadays deposited in several European museums, wrote travelogues, organized several exhibitions and lectured for the public in Europe and the United States. Holub realized his journeys not only within the frame of the belated colonial aspirations of Austro-Hungary, that was striving to raise its position among European powers, but also at the peak of the nationalist competition within the multiethnic monarchy – namely, the competition of Czechs and Germans in the Czech Lands. While he was praised in his homeland as “Czech Livingstone”, he remained in fact unknown, reduced to a caricature and few famous quotes from his reports and letters. The presentation will aspire to ascertain Holub’s motivations and opinions, and to evaluate his role for the Czech national movement and its “colonial complicity”. Also, the “second life” of Holub during the Cold War period, and the quasi-colonial strategies of Soviet politics in the Global South, will be reflected upon. But, especially, it would contextualize the collections that until the present are preserved and exhibited by the museum institutions. There can be no doubt of their scientific value and aesthetic beauty, but there is also the inescapable heritage of colonial oppression and purposeful “othering” and denigration of non-European peoples and cultures that in fact made possible the acquisition of the artefacts and their deposition in the museums. Thus, is there a possibility to “decolonize” these objects yet continue their museum presentation.