Forgotten relief 'The Dance' transferred to Jewish Museum in Brussels

The relief 'The Dance' by Jewish-French visual artist Ossip Zadkine (1888-1967) will after decades of oblivion in 2025 be on display again at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. The relief had been hidden for decades in the warehouse of retail chain Zara in Brussels' Rue Neuve, where the former Cinéma Métropole was located in the past. The move to the museum was started on Monday morning.

Ossip Zadkine’s impressive work of 12 metres long and 3.5 metres high is currently being relocated to the Jewish Museum. To do so, the artwork, which weighs two tonnes in total, will be dismantled into 15 pieces.

The relief, made of plaster and covered with a gilded bronze patina, is the largest and perhaps most monumental surviving work by the Jewish-French artist. The work depicts three figures with ribbons. The bas-relief is reminiscent of ancient Greek friezes. Zadkine created the relief at the request of Cinéma Métropole architect Adrien Blomme for the opening of the luxurious Art Deco cinema in Brussels.

The cinema closed its doors in April 1991 and international retail chain Zara took over the building in 2001.

The “rescue operation” should give a second life to the work and make the "forgotten and unknown treasure" accessible again to Brussels residents and visitors, said Brussels secretary of state for heritage Ans Persoons. "After 30 years of being invisible and forgotten, 'The Dance' will once again be visible to all by 2025," she declared.

"Housing Zadkine's relief is an immense honour for the Jewish Museum of Belgium, we are proud to be the privileged custodians," said Barbara Cuglietta, director of the Jewish Museum.

The monumental relief 'The Dance' by artist Ossip Zadkine © BELGA PHOTO MORGANE BERGER

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels