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King Philippe and Queen Mathilde jump aboard the art train

By Michael Thaidigsmann - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians have jumped aboard the art train. The royal couple opened Europalia, an annual art exhibition at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels. 

Being officially inaugurated on Thursday, 14 October, the exhibition will be accessible until 15 May 2022 for the public to enjoy. 

The topic selected for this edition is Trains and Tracks (the title is in English), and Europalia will count with more than 70 events and exhibitions across Belgium in the span of time that it will remain open. Some of the events will be in museums, but others will be held in train stations or even train cars that will travel through the country bringing art to different regions.

The King and Queen have officially inaugurated the exhibition “Voies de la modernité” (“Routes of modernity”), which features key pieces from significant artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. The exposition focuses on the impact trains, and tracks have had on daily life for society, especially on and through paintings. 

The festival is currently in its 28th edition, and this year is the first not to be dedicated to one or more countries but to a concept instead. Europalia has taken place every two years since 1969, the year they saw the first exhibition dedicated to Italy. 

Its main event is always held in Belgium, but many other countries in the past have participated, such as the Netherlands or Luxembourg, France or Germany. The expenses are shared between the invited nation and Belgium, who, in turn, is sponsored in this activity by federal and regional governments as well as many private entities. 

Europalia calls on the collaboration of the most renowned international specialists to help conceive the festival as well as to participate in colloquia and conferences.