Visited on the 16th November 2014
The Cinquantenaire Museum is set in the heart of Cinquantenaire Park, the Brussels History and Art museum offers you a rich and varied view of the past from pre-history right up to the 20th century.
Address: Parc du Cinquantenaire 10, 1000 Brussels
Telephone: + 32 (0)2 741 72 11
Tuesday-Friday from 9:30am to 5pm. Saturday & Sundays from 10am to 5pm.
Last tickets at 4pm. Closed: Mondays
Admission prices: Permanent Collections, Cinquantenaire Museum
€ 5 Adults € 4 : Groups (min. 15 persons), senior citizens (65 +) €1.5 : Children or young persons aged 6-25 years
Free admission the first Wednesday of each month as of 1pm.
The audioguide for the galleries Romanesque and Mosan Art, Gothic-Renaissance-Baroque, Egypt, Art of the Islamic World, is available in English, French and Dutch and costs € 4.
Train: Central Station or Schuman – Metro: Lines 1 et 5 (Merode or Schuman)
Bus: 22, 27, 61, 80 Tram: 81, 83
The collection of the museum is divided into four parts:
- The Collection of national archaeology which dates between prehistory to the Merovingian period (751 AD)
- The Collection of antiquity with collections from the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Roman collection includes a large scale model of the city of Rome during the 4th century AD.
- The Collection of non-European civilisations with collections of artefacts from Asian countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Americas (showing pre-Columbian civilisations and contemporary societies) and Oceania (particularly Easter Island) and the Islamic world.
- The Collection of European decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the 20th century showing sculptures, furniture, tapestries, textiles, costumes, lace, ceramics, metals, glassware, old vehicles, photographic and cinematographic equipment, etc.
History of the Egyptian collection
Unlike the biggest European museums, which commenced at a fairly early stage in their histories to assemble relics from the pharaonic past, the Cinquantenaire Museum began only recently, relatively speaking, to put an Egyptian collection together, more particularly with the acquisition around 1850 of a small core of objects. During the second half of the nineteenth century, this was expanded for the first time by the purchase (in 1861) of the collection of G. Hagemans and the donation (in 1884) of E. de Meester de Ravenstein.
The collection’s current fame is due chiefly to Jean Capart (1877-1947), who laid the foundation of Egyptology in Belgium. A dynamic figure, he understood the art of attracting the interest of important patrons and of finding the right moment to make interesting acquisitions in the art market or at public auctions. Numerous objects come directly from excavations in Egypt and particularly at Elkab, where Capart began archaeological research in 1937.
At present, the collection numbers more than 11,000 pieces and can be termed representative of every great period of flowering in Egyptian history. Just a selection of them is displayed: items of outstanding quality, illustrating the most diverse aspects of the art of Ancient Egypt, and items that are important from mainly a cultural and historical point of view.
Among the prize pieces are the so-called ‘Lady of Brussels’ a limestone figure of a woman (ca. 2700 B.C.)
A head of King Mykerinos (ca. 2500 B.C.)
A relief image of Queen Teje, the wife of Amenhotep III (ca. 1375 B.C.)
Also in the collection is an entire burial chamber, the mastaba of Nefertitenaf (ca. 2400 B.C)
Various sarcophagi and mummies from different periods, including the so-called ‘Embroideress’ mummy
And one of the finest books of the dead that has survived from Ancient Egypt: the papyrus roll of the sculptor Neferrenpet (ca. 1300-1250 B.C.).
Full collection of my photos can be found at : https://www.flickr.com/photos/127735911@N08/albums/72157649345056641