"Museum night fever" : a night at the museum

Article published on March 11, 2009
Article published on March 11, 2009
Article written by Valya Ivanova and translated by Maïté Dague Brown The second edition of the « Museum night fever » drew more than 6,000 people from all over Europe to Brussels. This year the night of the museums took place on the 7th of March. 14 museums opened their doors from 7pm to 1am to welcome the thousands of visitors expected.

Aside from the permanent exhibitions, there were special programs; a night of concerts, live performances, theatre, films and dance. Students from the “Haute Ecole Libre de Bruxelles” and the “Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel” participated in this event to insure a warm welcome.

A shuttle bus ran every ten minutes between the different museums to facilitate the visits. Many youth hostels and partner hotels were ready to welcome the wave of tourists visiting Brussels for the occasion.

museum_night_fever.jpgAn improvised dance floor at the « Bozar »

After the long cultural promenade, music-lovers let off steam at the « Bozar » until 3pm. This event has been partly organized with the help of the “Conseil Bruxellois des Musées”.

The museum that struck me the most was the « Musée d’Art fantastique ». It is an astonishing place, nested in a patrician house of the Rue Américaine, a stone’s throw away from the Horta museum. Although modest in size, the museum can compete with many others, its creator, Michel Dircken, has taken care of every detail of the presentation, offering on three levels a glimpse of a fantasy world, sometimes baroque, sometimes sharp, and often surrealist. A passionate place, where the permanent collection alternates with temporary exhibitions.

Euphoria and thirst for culture

The MIM (the Museum of Musical Instruments) situated in the heart of Brussels, in the « Quartier des Arts », on place Royale, has particularly impressed me for many reasons. Firstly, for the giant blue human brain on its roof, and its terrace offers an exceptional view of the city. Then, I was delighted by the permanent exhibition of unique musical instruments from around the world, which you can see and hear. And finally, a band of musicians took me back to my country with their Balkan melodies.

I immediately thought of the Night of the Museums in Bulgaria, which is to be held in May for the third time in Sofia. The same euphoria, enthusiasm and hunger for culture assault the visitor with unexplained force. The main organizer of the event in Bulgaria is the « Institut Culturel Français » of Sofia, which occupies a central role in the cultural life of the Bulgarian capital.

Photo credits Quarsan/flickr