Senior citizens invited to cool off in federal museums during heat wave

Senior citizens invited to cool off in federal museums during heat wave
Credit: Belga

The permanent collections of federal museums will be accessible free of charge to people over the age of 65 and their companions during the current heat wave, the office of the Secretary of State for Scientific Policy, Thomas Dermine, announced on Monday.

The available collections are at the KBR Museum, Museum of Ancient Art, Fin de Siècle Museum, Museum of Natural Sciences, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Art and History Museum.

The idea is to allow the people most sensitive to the heat wave to take advantage of the air-conditioned spaces in scientific establishments, while discovering the collections present in the museums.

"The primary mission of our major museums is obviously to highlight a collection, but they are also institutions open to society and at the service of the population," Dermine commented. "Their spaces, which are effectively public spaces, must be made fully available to vulnerable people in the event of extreme weather events."

All rooms devoted to the museums' permanent collections are accessible to people with reduced mobility, via access ramps and lifts. For those who need special help, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts provide "cultural mediation tools," such as visio-guides, tactile Braille tablets equipped with audio description, available during the course of visits. This system was already established in 2018, during one of the longest periods of summer heat.

Tuesday 19 July will be the hottest day of the heat wave, with temperatures ranging between 35° and 40° in some places.


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