The Army Museum in the Cinquantenaire park in Brussels yesterday opened a new exhibition marking the end of the Second World War. The exhibition, titled Oorlog Bezetting Bevrijding/Guerre Occupation Libération (War Occupation Liberation) is a show of 2,000 objects relating to the end of the war, many of which have never been exhibited before. The exhibition forms part of a year of celebrations and commemorations ending on 8 May 2020, the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
According to the museum – official title the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History – all government levels in the country are taking part in the year of commemorations, with two parallel aims: to celebrate 75 years of liberty, and to ensure the memory of what happened during the war, with the intention of never letting it happen again. As well as Brussels, events are planned in Antwerp, Bastogne, Leopoldsburg in Limburg and Mons.
As the title suggests, the exhibition in the Army museum is in three parts: the occupation of Belgium from 1940 to 1944; the liberation of Europe and Asia in 1944-45; and the repressive and genocidal policies of the Nazis.
The museum has undergone a transformation of scenography, the museum said in a statement. “The 12 new exhibition spaces are treasures of total scenography. Floors, walls, ceilings, lighting, cabinets are perfectly linked to each other to create the necessary peace and space in the visit. Spectacular multi-media applications complete the scene. And in the tradition of the Royal Army Museum the unique permanent collection remains in place: its history and relevance explained and placed within the broader story of the exhibition.”
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 09.00 to 17.00. Entry is free on Sunday 12 May.