Belgium's Search For Sponsors

Attracting businesses for Brussels heritage exhibitions

Belgium should be the latest European country to feel the benefit of sponsorship for major museums and their special exhibitions – at least that is the hope of Francis van Noten who has recently taken over as Director of the Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire in Brussels.

The major exhibition on Chinese inventions and technology currently on at the Musees Royaux (and reviewed in November's History Today) is the second in a trio of non-European subjects presented there. Last year an exhibition on the Aztecs attracted nearly 380,000 visitors (the largest number ever for such an event in Belgium) and following the China show will be an exhibition on the civilisations of the Indus Valley, courtesy of UNESCO. But Dr van Noten wants to make the organisation of exhibitions from the museum's own resources a priority – and that means attracting commercial and business sponsorship, perhaps from some of the many European and multinational companies that have a strong presence in Belgium because of Brussels' role as an unofficial capital of the European Community and its institutions.

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