With the building of Erfgoedfabriek (The Heritage Factory) and BRUSK – the former a new central depot, the latter a new exhibition hall – Musea Brugge will be taking important steps forward in the years ahead to improve the management and display of its collections. This is something that makes us very proud! Read further to discover everything you need to know about our relocation projects.
During the next five years, all the heritage artefacts and works of art from our rich collections will be moved to the Erfgoedfabriek and BRUSK. This relocation exercise requires intense preparation and careful thought: every object needs to be registered, photographed, cleaned, packed and made ready for transportation. This challenging backstage work forms the basis for all our museum activities, but often remains hidden from the eyes of our visitors. For this reason, in the coming years we intend to focus the spotlight more fully on the workings of the depot and everything connected with it. In a monthly blog we will be taking you behind the scenes of ‘Musea Brugge is moving’.
Erfgoedfabriek and the new BRUSK exhibition hall will meet a twin-need that has existed for more than two decades in Bruges: the requirement for a central depot to store and manage our rich collections and a suitable display space for the organisation of temporary exhibitions of a high international standard. What is perhaps less widely known is the fact that BRUSK will also serve as the repository for all our works on paper (the Print Cabinet) and for paintings. Both these projects require intense and detailed planning. For the move to the Heritage Factory, no fewer than 50,000 artefacts will need to be made ready for transport. For the move to BRUSK, more than 25,000 paintings are involved. In this way, Musea Brugge will be taking an important step forward to ensure the future preservation of the priceless heritage entrusted to its care.
In total, there are more than 75,000 individual pieces in the various Musea Brugge collections, less than 5 percent of which are permanently on display. At the present time, the non-displayed items are stored in seven different buildings spread across Bruges city centre, but none of these buildings were designed as a museum depot. To guarantee the best possible international standard of storage and care for the entire collection, it is planned to build a new central depot: Erfgoedfabriek or the Heritage Factory. This will also serve as a regional heritage depot and will provide a home for the Raakvlak archaeological service and the City of Bruges costume workshop. From 2023 onwards, the largest part of our collection will be moved to this new building. More than 50,000 objects will need to be packed and made ready for this relocation.
With the realisation of BRUSK, Bruges will gain a contemporary and international-standard display space for temporary exhibitions. The new building will be situated in the heart of the city’s Museum Quarter and will form part of a total project: a museum site that must become a home for research and a meeting place for everyone who is interested in the history and heritage of Bruges and Musea Brugge. The museum site will house a research centre that will also contain the museum library, as well as space for the scientific services of Musea Brugge. Behind the scenes, BRUSK will also house separate depots for paintings and works on paper, and facilities for technical research.