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An extra year to catch Flemish Masters In Situ
The Flemish Masters In Situ project has been extended for at least a year, giving more visitors the chance to see top works of 16th- and 17th-century art that are normally hidden away around the region.
The initiative introduces visitors to artistic masterpieces in the churches, abbeys, castles, cloisters or town halls for which they were originally made. Because they are not heavily promoted or in a tourist hotspot, these pieces go largely unnoticed.
The art works are on show in Flanders’ major cities as well as smaller towns. Approximately 10,000 people participated during the summer, visiting the sites and taking part in related events such as theatre, guided walks and lectures.
“Due to demand from many visitors who have not had the time to see the 45 sites during the initial four-month period, we’ve prolonged the project by a year,” said Peter Wouters, director of art and heritage organisation Openbaar Kunstbezit Vlaanderen, which organised the initiative alongside Visit Flanders.
Sites have been given extra lighting and interactive screens to allow visitors to get the most out of their visit, and these improvements will remain in place until the project ends, now scheduled for October 2020. Not all locations will stay open to the public for the full year, however: the full list with opening times is available on the project’s website.
“We sometimes don’t realise ourselves what exactly we have around us,” said Zuhal Demir, Flanders’ tourism minister. “We are the birthplace of so much beautiful art and culture. Every Flemish village is home to a hidden gem. Via Visit Flanders we have invested almost €1 million to share these gems with a wide audience.”
Photo: Sint-Catharinakerk in Diest, Flemish Brabant
© Thea Henderix