Lascaux cave will spend its winter in Brussels

Until 15 March 2015 the Brussels Cinquantenaire Museum is hosting the “Lascaux” mobile exhibition, voted Best Touring Exhibition of the Year in 2013. The exhibition has already received 700.000 visitors worldwide and has now set up its winter quarters in Brussels for its one and only European stop before heading to Japan in 2016!

The show-piece of the exhibition is undoubtedly the reproductions of sections of the Nave and the Shaft. Up to now, these two areas of the cave were not so well known by the general public since they were missing from the Montignac cave reconstruction. The real cave, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been closed to the public since 1963, because the flood of visitors was changing the delicate balance of the air in the cave.

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In addition to giving visitors an insider’s view into our ancestors’ artistic tendencies, they can also learn more about the cave and its history. On show there are photographs, films, and previously unseen archives depicting numerous events, such as the cave’s discovery in 1940, its closure to the public and the creation of the first reproduction in the 80′s (Lascaux II).

The icing on the cake is the Belgian section of the exhibition dedicated to the “Sistine Chapel of Prehistory”. This section features the large collections of the Cinquantenaire Museum Prehistory Department and the Natural Science Museum.

All info can be found here! Check out the trailer of this expo as well…

 

The Berlin Wall in Brussels

When the Berlin Wall was still standing, numerous German and international artists would come to cover the western part of the “wall of shame” with graffiti and paintings. On 9 November 1989, the Wall was destroyed. The Cold War was over, which paved the way for a reunified Germany. But fragments of the destroyed Wall remain significant symbols of the past. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, about 10 parts of the Wall were displayed on the Brussels’ Place du Luxembourg in 2009. They were the symbol of the European construction and reconciliation of the east and the west. Several months later, the 3.6 meter high segments were sent back to their original home in Germany, except for three that still remain in Brussels today.

After several years of artistic debate, the European Parliament finally took 2 of the remains under its wings. The first section was visible up until last week at the Place du Luxembourg. It has been moved to the esplanade in front of the European Parliament, where a pedestal has been installed to hold it. Even though it’s been badly vandalized, we can still read the inscriptions “New NW 9.85”, which refer to the world record time back then for the 100 meter dash.

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The second part of the Wall was erected in the Rue Wiertz in front of the European Parliament. It displays an original work of the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The “Place Potsdam” was considered a no man’s land at that time, cut in half by the Wall. Eventually the segment will join the European History Museum that will be built in Parc Leopold by 2016.

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The European Commission in Belgium is responsible for the third part of the Wall. President Kennedy is seen in front of an American flag background. You will have to have a little patience before being able to admire this particular piece. It is currently in a warehouse waiting to be restored from graffiti.

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Victor Hugo’s 1000 days in Brussels

The legendary French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), known from his masterpiece Les Misérables, lived in exile for 19 years in Brussels, Jersey and Guernsey. It is no wonder that The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts of Brussels now dedicates a grand exposition to the most influential French Romantic writer of the 19th century, gifted thinker and statesman.

Victor Hugo lived in Brussels for 1000 days. During this period, he had no less than 14 different addresses! Mayor Louis de Brouckère of Brussels protected him, and a minister offered him his shirts because Hugo had literally left everything in Paris. The reason why he ran away wasn’t literary, as you would expect, but political. On 2 December 1851 Napoléon Bonaparte dismissed the Assemblée, of which Victor Hugo was a member. As a result, Hugo became one of the leaders of the left side and finally had to flee because of his fierce activism. His lover, Juliette Drouet, followed him, but to avoid any scandal they don’t live together. Drouet lived at the Galléries des Princes, where you can now find book store ‘Tropismes’. Victor Hugo himself stayed at the Grand Place, in house number 16. He had a magnificent view on the Brussels city hall and the cathedral, which he often wrote about with a lot of love and admiration.

victor hugo brussels

But Victor Hugo was more than a passionate writer. He also appeared to be a spiritual person, talented illustrator and architectural enthusiast. From the Grand Place in Brussels to Hauteville House on the Channel Island of Guernsey, the exhibition ‘Victor Hugo In Exile’ shows the censored writer’s true colours. Drawings of maritime landscapes, poems, famous publications such as Les Misérables and his extensive correspondence testify how Hugo’s relationships, political ideas and loneliness influenced his work.

You can visit this expo until 29 March 2015 at The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts of Brussels, Galléries Royales 1, 1000 Brussels. Open from Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 6pm. Entrance fee: 7 €, 5 € with reduction.

Bookalocal in Brussels

With more and more visitors and expats coming to Brussels, there’s a new way to dine that gives those who are new in the city a chance to meet locals over a meal or a drink in a cosy and casual setting. With Bookalocal, you sign up for an event, meet locals and expats, and leave with new connections and a full stomach. Bookalokal offers a wide range of group food and beverage events that take place in people’s homes and in other venues such as parks, theaters, cosy restaurants and more. You can for example choose for a wine & dine, food tasting, cooking class,…

bookalocal

The principle is very simple. You simply go to the website of Bookalocal http://bookalocal.com, enter “Brussels” and browse through the existing events around you. You can sign up and make a reservation by making the payment to the organising host. If you want to host an event, it’s just as easy: the steps to create your own event are clearly explained.

With Bookalokal, you’ve really got it all: guests passing through, expats settling in or locals who know it all. As for hosts, they can be newbies, cooking aficionados or even retired chefs eager to experiment. Bookalocal originated in Brussels in 2012 and has since expanded, with hosts in 40 countires today!

The Drawing Room

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At the moment the Botanique, the cultural centre next to Hotel BLOOM!,  is hosting a gallery of drawings dedicated to the unique universe of Hans Op de Beeck. In a muted setting conceived by the artist, the exhibition presents a series of drawings and previously unseen watercolours, as well as a film produced for the occasion. Hans Op de Beeck is one of the major figures in the current artistic scene and is the creator of a deeply poetic and troubling body of work.

Using a palette reduced to black alone, the artist reveals a night-time world, dominated by silence and tranquillity. Time seems to give way in his vertiginous urban backdrops, foggy horizons or confined interiors. Each and every one arouses a disconcerting sense of both familiarity and strangeness.

Moving away from a strict representation of reality in favour of a more cerebral dimension, his landscapes resemble mental images rather than specific places. They evoke states of mind, which can be accessed by means of gentle immersion. By dissolving the borders between the unknown and the intimate, blurring distances and identities, Hans Op de Beeck’s work is a veritable invitation to introspection.

Good to know: Guests of Hotel BLOOM! have free access by showing their roomcard.

Where?
Le Botanique
Cultural centre of the French Community
Rue Royale, 236
1210 Bruxelles

When?
From 06/11/14 until 04/01/15

Click here for more info

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