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Musée D’Ixelles to close for four years

15:02 16/01/2018

The popular Musée D’Ixelles will close on 4 February for a four-year renovation project. The 126-year-old museum has undergone smaller renovation projects over the years, but nothing that matches the scale of the current plan.

The renovation of the popular neighbourhood museum is tricky for a number of reasons. Aside from elements required for the showing of art, Musée D’Ixelles consists of several adjacent buildings: a 19th-century slaughterhouse, a former banquet hall, a private home and a wing that was added in the 1970s.

The project includes a new circulation plan that will bring together the disparate parts of the museum, a new entryway (pictured), a new bookshop and cafe, spaces for lectures and other educational activities and a new sculpture garden. The private home will house the educational spaces, a multi-purpose event hall and offices.

Closing party

B-Architecten won the public bid for the redesign of the museum. The Antwerp-based architect firm is responsible for projects like De Grote Post in Ostend, which saw an old post office turned into a cultural centre, and Boterberg in Kalmthout, where several castle outbuildings became private homes.

Total cost of the works is €2.5 million, half of which is coming from the Ixelles city council. The other half comes from private donations.

The museum is holding a closing party for the public from 2 to 4 March. Last Call includes various activities, a folk ball, a video performance and, of course, info on the renovation project. The second day of Last Call coincides with Museum Night Fever.

During renovations, Musée D’Ixelles will continue to stage temporary exhibitions in other locations, both in Belgium and abroad. The staff will also work during the period on digitising the museum’s collections.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw