The Exhibition of Roger van der Weyden’s Followers in Brussels Closes Two Months Early

A view of the work
over the skylight at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
Photo : D. R.

21/11/13 - Museums - Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique - Our collaborator Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges saw it and was soon going to write a review on it. She will now be spared the task ! The retrospective "L’Héritage de Roger van der Weyden. Peinture à Bruxelles 1450-1520" was remarkable according to her account, and those of others who saw it as well. After temporarily closing its doors on 13 November, it was supposed to reopen on the 19th. The reopening however will not be taking place and the exhibition, which was supposed to run until 26 January is now definitively closed.

The reason ? Repair work to cover over the skylight located on the Place des Musées which previously allowed the lighting of the galleries housing the modern art collections at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels but which will now welcome the "Musée Fin de Siècle" instigated by the director Michel Draguet.
We refer our readers to the articles published on La Tribune de l’Art by notably Denis Coekelberghs in order to better understand the current situation. Nevertheless, we wonder about the pressing necessity of covering this skylight. Gérard de Wallens, on his blog, raises the same question and, going even further, justifiably asks himself how one can carry out repair work over a museum presenting an important exhibition with works brought in from all over the world. We can imagine the waste of time, energy and money resulting from closing an exhibition two months early. Moreover, this skylight was a modern architectural element of very fine quality (designed by Roger Bastin), which inserted itself in a highly intelligent way into an old monument and we can only regret its (temporary ?) alteration.

Not having investigated the subject ourselves, we can therefore only refer our readers to this blog article and also point out this other one, which appeared in La Libre Belgique, where yet another well-known figure, Philippe Roberts-Jones, expresses his regret at the closing of the Musée d’Art Moderne.

Does the creaton of a "Musée Fin de Siècle" justify all of these decisions ? We will soon know as it is supposed to open on 5 December. We will discuss it here after our visit.

Version française

Didier Rykner, jeudi 21 novembre 2013

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