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The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp Has Been Completely Revamped

Published on , by Sarah Hugounenq

Closed since 2011, the KMSKA reopened its doors in late September. An audacious display in a delicate extension has turned the exhibition into a museographic challenge.

© Karin Borghouts The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp Has Been Completely Revamped

© Karin Borghouts

Expectations were commensurate with the importance of the collection. 8,400 works, mainly representing the art of the Southern Netherlands from the 14th to the 19th centuries in the largest art museum in Flanders, had been long awaited for eleven years. After an intervention in the building for a budget of €100 million, to which was added a hidden sum for the scenography and the restoration of two hundred works, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) is now back in top form. An iconic building in Het Zuid in the south of the city, it has benefited from asbestos removal and the restoration of the original appearance of an architecture that looks like a temple of art. Thanks to the construction of new basement storerooms, the original exhibition has been restored with a museography that honors the historical aspects of a building that opened in 1890: oak woodwork, olive green or Pompeian red picture rails, and zenithal glass windows. Dikkie Scipio, from the Dutch agency KAAN Architecten, has also designed a very discreet and sophisticated extension. Increasing the permanent exhibition by 40%, his intervention lies within the four initial…
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