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Hotel Métropole auction halted after protected items listed

14:03 01/04/2023

The auction of furniture and other artefacts from the historic Hotel Métropole is being temporarily postponed after it was discovered that some objects are protected heritage of significant value.

While most of the items, such as old bellhop uniforms and elegant furniture, are "faux vieux" - modernly-made to look old fashioned - an inspection found several pieces of heritage that are considered protected and unable to be sold.

These items must be properly catalogued and cannot leave the hotel.

Heritage experts from analysed all the interior pieces of the Hotel Métropole that were put up for sale by auction, according to Brussels state secretary Pascal Smet, which is how they discovered certain historical gems.

The Brussels region will now launch the classification procedure, which means that the sales process will be frozen for the time being “until these interior pieces are also definitively classified”, Smet said.

Once interior pieces are catalogued, they may change owners, but they may not leave the location they are connected to. That means the classified pieces must remain at the Hotel Métropole.

Much of the interior of the renowned hotel was already listed in 2002, as was the building itself. The newly classified pieces will be added to the existing catalogue.

Written by Helen Lyons