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Hotel Métropole to hold auction for its furnishings, decor, uniforms

14:30 20/03/2023

The iconic Hotel Métropole on Place de Brouckère in Brussels is hosting an auction at the end of the month that will feature not only its furnishings but also staff uniforms, trolleys and even a stuffed peacock.

The hotel is undergoing an extensive renovation, with plans to reopen its doors in 2025. In the meantime, pieces of its old look must go.

Among the items expected at the auction are seats, tables, a porter’s cap and coats, the entire bar and reception furniture, portraits of the royal family, opulent chandeliers and some of the furniture from the presidential suite.

Decorative pieces, kitchenware and garments will also be sold at the public auction, along with items tailored more towards collectors, such as old keys and name plaques from the suites.

There is also a stone statue and the enormous faux Christmas tree that was brought out during the winter holiday periods.

Hotel Métropole was done in the emblematic belle-époque style from 1895, but the hotel fell into financial difficulties after an accumulation of setbacks, including the works on the Brussels pedestrian zone, the terror attacks and the pandemic.

It has remained closed for years, but was acquired by investment fund Lone Star Fund in December and will be operated by French company Centaurus Hospitality Management when it is reopened.

The collection includes 178 items ranging from a €50 red and gold porter’s cap to a €4,000 large wood cabinet from the reception area. A Yamaha piano is valued at €5,000, and a large panel with 32 signatures from the guest book is said to be worth €1,000.

The Métropole and its rooms, suites and terrace have been the backdrop for countless films and series and the home of a host of personalities ranging from Albert Einstein to Bruno Mars, Jean Dujardin, Annie Cordy and Marie Curie.

“The Hotel Métropole has a real place in the hearts of the people of Brussels and Belgium,” said Octavie Bordet, the Belgian representative of Ader Entreprises & Patrimoine.

“It will be possible to buy a little piece of history, a little piece of the Métropole. There will be something for every taste and budget.

"This will range from Brussels residents who love the Metropole and the history of their city to a professional clientele: perhaps hotel owners who wish to furnish or renew their furniture.”

The Métropole is organising an exhibition of the items the day before the sale, on 29 March.

“All those potentially interested are welcome,” said Bordet. “As the hotel will be closed for several years for renovation, this will be an opportunity to come and admire the splendour of the rooms of the Métropole Hotel one last time.”

Anyone interested in the auction can browse the offerings online.

Written by Helen Lyons