The Bozar will be closed at least until next Monday inclusive, said Leen Daems, spokesperson for Bozar.
Posted 01/18/2021 at 8:09 p.m.
Le roof fire reported Monday at around 4:12 p.m. at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in central Brussels, was circumscribed, announced shortly after 7:00 p.m. the spokesman for the Brussels firefighters Walter Derieuw. However, the fire is not yet completely extinguished. A firefighter was seriously ill, which necessitated his transfer to a hospital. The Bozar will be closed at least until next Monday inclusive, said Leen Daems, spokesperson for Bozar.
No work touched
According to our information, it is the roof above the Henry LeBoeuf room which is burning, and perhaps above a part of the exhibition path. However, no exhibition is planned at this location before January 25. According to the director of Bozar, Paul Dujardin no work of art would have been touched. However, this will have to be verified in the light of day and after a full inventory.
A specialized private firm will come later in the evening to cover the roof and suck water in the museum, says Walter Derieuw. Also according to the spokesperson for the Brussels firefighters, five Red Cross teams replaced five firefighters on Siamu’s 112 ambulances to help strengthen the workforce in the fight against the fire. A preventive advanced medical post has also been installed.
The first call for help was received at 4:12 p.m. to report smoke from the roof. Firefighters were on the scene around 4:20 p.m. The fire has so far required six pumper and four self-ladders.
It is a roof fire, which smolders over a large area, between the roof and the ceiling, at the level of the insulation.
“There is no propagation towards surrounding buildings and it is limited towards the interior”, estimates Walter Derieuw.
The event relating to the two new exhibitions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, scheduled for Tuesday, has been canceled. The Bozar will remain closed at least until next Monday included. Officials hope to be allowed to enter parts of the building affected by the fire on Tuesday and to be able to assess the damage in the days to come.
“There are teams on the roofs, because the ladders do not reach far enough inside the block,” explains Walter Derieuw. “The water is taken from the street, then we plug into the pumps to add pressure. The lances are then pulled via the ladders to the roofs, where the lances are collected by the firefighters ”.
He thinks the procedure could take a while. “It’s hard to see where the fire is smoldering,” Walter Derieuw continues. “After that, we’ll have to make sure that everything is turned off and that there are no more hot spots. To verify this, we will ask for drones from the federal police ”.
The cause of the fire has not yet been communicated.
Traffic was closed on Rue Royale, between Place Royale and Rue de la Loi, as well as on Place des Palais, local police in Brussels-Ixelles said on Twitter.