Book reveals art treasures of Flemish Community

A new art book by Ghent University experts offers a rare, richly illustrated insight into the Flemish Community’s collection of art treasures. The book was presented in Vilvoorde on Monday.

The entire art collection of the Flemish Community consists of about 40,000 pieces. It’s a diverse collection consisting mainly of works of art, but also of archives, agricultural tools and manuscripts. Only part of the collection hangs in major museums: other works hang in public spaces or are used to decorate government buildings. About 4,500 works are kept in a depot in Vilvoorde.

The book, Reflections – Views on the Collection Flemish Community, is the work of two art experts at UGent, Koenraad Jonckheere and Lien Vandenberghe. It portrays the richness of the collection by placing masterpieces alongside unknown treasures. The reader is guided past works by old masters such as Jan Van Eyck and Peter Paul Rubens as well as works by James Ensor. Works by contemporary artists such as Luc Tuymans and photographer Dirk Braeckman are put in the spotlight as well.

According to Jonckheere, the book should "trigger curiosity" about the rich collection. At the presentation, Flemish Culture minister Jan Jambon said the book gave a unique insight into Flemish art heritage.

He added that in recent years, investments had been made to expand the collection and acquire pieces that are "rare and indispensable". The budget for buying art has been increased from 500,000 euros in 2023 to 1 million and will rise to 1.5 million euros fromin 2025.


#FlandersNewsService | Man admiring Rubens painting © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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