Discover the latest news in the field of Belgian heritage.
After the treatment of the closed polyptych (2012-2016) and the lower register of the opened polyptych (2016-2019), the third phase of the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) starts this month. The upper panels of the monumental artwork by the Van Eyck brothers moved from St Bavo Cathedral to the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) in Ghent on 2 May. KIK-IRPA experts will carry out in-depth research and the challenging restoration for three years.
The federal government intends to transform the Cinquantenaire Park and its institutions into new sociocultural flagship for Belgium, and this by Belgium's 200th anniversary in 2030. The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, the Royal Museum of Art and History, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, and Autoworld are committed to developing, together with the non-profit association Horizon 50-200, an ambitious master plan for the Cinquantenaire site under the banner 'Cinquantenaire 2030' culminating with two hubs focusing on Innovation and Heritage.
For the first time, KIK-IRPA has researched historical machines from Belgium's industrial past. It involved the Mule Jenny and the Twine mill, two centuries-old large textile machines from the Museum of Industry in Ghent for spinning and twisting threads. Our specialists were able to confirm that the two masterpieces are the oldest of their kind in the world.
For many heritage institutions, it is a challenge to practically integrate the energy transition within their existing operations. KIK-IRPA worked with national and international colleagues to draft a practical document for heritage institutions that suggests possible energy-saving measures in the short- and medium-term.
The international and interdisciplinary XXIII Symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting focuses on 'Cross-Media Perspectives. Technical Studies of Art on Panel, Paper and Parchment (1400-1600)'. They are now issuing a call for abstracts. The three-day congress will take place from 11 to 13 January 2024 in Leuven and Brussels.
Now that the research and restoration by KIK-IRPA have been completed - results of dendrochronology research will follow - the Virgin Mary altarpiece, with the fragments stolen in 1914, is on display in the Chapel of the Lords in Boussu.
Hilde De Clercq has been appointed general director of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA). She continues her work of the past six years with great enthusiasm and outstanding commitment.
Director Nina Degraeve had the opportunity to meet with our experts for a documentary film on the 75th anniversary of the institute, with the help of Belspo. The film has been shot and is expected to be delivered in the summer.
On 2 and 3 March 2023, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage opened its doors to nearly 1600 visitors who came to discover more about our unique interdisciplinary institute, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
Statue of Saint Catherine of Alexandria from the Church of Our Lady in Kortrijk is not made of alabaster but of marble
Contrary to initial research assumptions, the fourteenth-century statue of Saint Catherine of Alexandria turns out to be made of marble and not alabaster. The statue has been recognised as a Masterpiece by the Flemish Community and is currently one of the highlights of the 'Alabaster' exhibition at M Leuven.
In 2023, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Come and join us for the anniversary celebration of this unique institution in Belgium. Visit KIK-IRPA during the open day on 2 March and expect many surprises!
The altarpiece from the church of San Nazaro Maggiore in Milan, attributed to the Brussels sculptor Jan II Borman, has been restored to its original magnificent polychromy by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage.