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Petition launched against plans to build new Le Chat museum

20:00 28/04/2021

More than 2,900 people have signed a petition against the Brussels Capital-Region’s plan to build a new museum dedicated to the cartoon character Le Chat. The largely glass building would be located between Experience Brussels and Bozar (pictured above) and be accessible via Rue Royale.

It was announced last week that the building permit for the new museum had been approved. The museum will be built at a cost of some €14 million in a public-private partnership between the region and Le Chat author Philippe Geluck, who has tapped investors for the project.

Two Brussels artists have launched a petition against the region’s funding of a museum dedicated to a cartoon character that they say has little to offer to international tourists or the cultural fabric of Brussels.

“Brussels doesn’t have a museum of modern or contemporary art that is worthy of the name,” Sandrine Morgante told La Dernière Heure. “Hundreds of artworks are sitting in warehouses and are not being exhibited because of this lack of space. And now there is suddenly millions of euros available for a project that we don’t consider culture.”

A cartoon panel of Le Chat
Not the cat’s meow: Artists find that Brussels’ money could be better spent

Morgante launched the petition together with fellow-artist Denis De Rudder. “We think that Brussels authorities are creating a poor mix of tourism and culture,” she said. “It’s certainly not a safe bet that Le Chat will attract tourists to the capital. An ambitious museum of modern art would make more sense.”

The pair launched the petition as an open letter to Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort. It has garnered 2,904 signatures so far, “many more than we had expected,” said Morgante.

The petition notes that the artists have nothing against strips but feel that they are taken out of context in a museum setting. They also question Geluck’s involvement in the project.

“An illustrator that reproduces the same drawing ad infinitum and just changes the sentence every time does not need a public building to stroke his ego. There are other places more appropriate for this kind of self-promotion.”

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

Frank Lee

Struggling artists jealous of Geluck's success? He's way more than just an "illustrator". Geluck may be the greatest philosopher of his time.

Apr 28, 2021 20:49