The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp (KMSKA) Reopens September 25, 2022

Saturday, September 25, 2021
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp (KMSKA) Reopens September 25, 2022

On 25 September 2022, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) will once again be opening its doors to the public after 10 years of being under renovation.

On 25 September 2022, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) will once again be opening its doors to the public. For the past 10 years, the biggest museum in Flanders has been undergoing a radical rebuilding and expansion. The exceptional art collection has also been given a complete facelift. Within a few months, the masterpieces will once again resume their place in the museum rooms. And in exactly one year, the public will be able to admire seven centuries of outstanding art in a completely new scenography.


Master Plan  

In 2004, KAAN Architects in Rotterdam were appointed to develop a master plan for the KMSKA. The museum doors were closed to the public in 2011. The ambitious master plan would take place in several stages, spread out over time. The plan was initially to reopen the museum section before completion of the remaining elements of the master plan. The complexity and the interlacing of the works proved too great.

“At the start of this new Flemish government, we were determined to free up the necessary resources for the complete execution of the master plan for the KMSKA. The public had waited long enough for the reopening. We decided to exhibit seven centuries of masterpieces in the best possible circumstances. Thanks to this extensive renovation and expansion, the KMSKA can resume its place among the leading European art museums.” - Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders


The Final Touches

The last sub-projects of the master plan have now all been started or are nearing completion:

  • The new garden (designer: Team Van Meer!) reveals itself as the first museum room. Carefully selected sculptures invite visitors to make their first acquaintance with the rich collection of the KMSKA. The garden will become a fine, artistic retreat for neighbours and visitors. An oasis of calm in the middle of bustling Zuid.
  • The office wing at the rear of the building is being renovated by chief contractor Artes Roegiers and adapted to the very latest needs of an office.
  • In the Rubens and Van Dyck room, gilt decoration is being applied to the cornices. These rooms will regain their former charm.
  • Soon, a start will also be made on the roofing of the De Keyser hall.
  • A new loading platform will be implemented, allowing art to be moved by professional means.
  • The final item in this project is the installation of the museum scenography (designer: RDAC, Robbrecht and Daem architects & Asli Ciçek) and of course the relocation of the collection.


The Finest Feeling

The KMSKA wants to be a warm place for every visitor. The museum wants to move everyone, whether they are knowledgeable or not. And that is why the focus is explicitly on experience, hospitality and creativity.        

“Thanks to the ingenious intervention by KAAN Architects, the KMSKA is gaining 40% more exhibition space without impacting the structure of the historic building. Together, the new and the historic sections give the museum a strong and exciting dynamic. The architecture reinforces the experience, which is what we will be focusing on in this museum. The new museum will be an open house where every visitor can enjoy, discover, participate and experience without any obstacle. We have set ourselves the aim of evoking the finest feeling in our visitors. That feeling can have many dimensions and layers, just like the stories that we will be telling in the museum.” - Luk Lemmens, chair of KMSKA non-profit organisation                 


Countdown to 25 September 2022

The countdown begins today. Together with the launch of the completely renewed website, the most important milestones on the path to the reopening can be tracked on the website and in social media.

Ticket sales will commence six months prior to the opening. From then, reservations for groups will be possible and individual tickets will also be on offer.


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Image of the Day

Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).

Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).


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