Despite permission, most museums in the north of the country will not reopen on December 1


The In Flanders Fields museum in Ypres and the Bruges museums will thus keep their doors closed on Tuesday despite the green light given on Friday for the reopening of the exhibition venues by the Concertation Committee. The museums of the Venice of the North intend to proceed in phases with the reopening of the three main museums, while the Yprois museum will welcome visitors again from December 15.

“I was a little surprised when I heard that the museums could reopen to the public from Tuesday,” says Peter Slosse, director of the In Flanders Fields museum in Ypres. “The sector had indeed asked to be able to reopen after the end of confinement, ie from mid-December. This is why we have decided to keep the date of December 15. ”

“People will have to book and we can only accommodate 25 people per quarter of an hour,” says Peter Slosse.

Bruges museums will also keep their doors closed. “At the beginning of this week we will examine what can be done,” explains Bruges alderman for culture Nico Blontrock (CD&V).

“We are very happy with the decision because something will happen again in the city and it will also benefit local traders but we will not reopen all 13 museums in the city right away. We are aiming first at the most popular places such as the Belfry, the Groeninge Museum and Saint John’s Hospital where the exhibition ‘Memling Now: Hans Memling in the current kunst’ was supposed to open on October 1.

Same story with the Ghent museums where the date of December 1 seems difficult to maintain. The SMAK, the museum of contemporary art in Ghent will keep its doors closed on Tuesday while the STAM (the municipal museum) and the other museums in the city will consult with the Ghent alderman for culture before reopening their doors to visitors.

An identical observation is made by the M museum in Louvain, for which a reopening on December 1 is also premature even if all the players are delighted with the decision taken by the Concertation Committee. Antwerp museums will wait for the publication of the Ministerial Decree to take a stand.

The only exception is Hasselt where the Juniper Museum, the Municipal Museum and the Fashion Museum will reopen on Tuesday. The Gallo-Roman Museum of Tongeren is also ready. The Bokrijk open-air museum, which welcomes walkers free of charge since October, will remain open until January 3. Finally, the Africamuseum in Tervuren also announced its reopening on December 1.

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