Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: In(stagram) Bruges

It’s Friday, the big stories of the world are still there (and below) but BIB was meant to be a discussion on more than just the latest big bad – so today, that’s where we will focus.

A cultural quickfire round:

Bruges: The picturesque city of Bruges has joined the ranks of Paris and New York in this year’s edition of the 50 most Instagrammable places in the world, the only Belgian city to make the cut.

Coffee & ArtA group of artists in the Flemish city of Mechelen have banded together to create an urban art gallery across the city.

Tintin: A drawing of Belgium’s most famous detective Tintin (though you may know him by another name depending on your mother tongue) has made €3.175 million at auction.

Got some quickfire culture? Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Belgium’s compounding communications problems

In what was already a difficult week for Belgium regarding communication strategies, PM Alexander De Croo has come under fire for not being as direct as his critics would like.  Read More.

2. Belgium tightens rules for UK travellers arriving by bus or train

Belgium is tightening its rules for travellers arriving by bus or train from countries outside the European Union, including the United Kingdom, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden announced on Friday.

The stricter rules will apply to travellers from non-EU and non-Schengen countries, which includes the United Kingdom, aiming to prevent the further spread of the more infectious coronavirus variant on Belgian territory. Read More.

3. Bruges named one of the world’s most Instagrammable places

The picturesque city of Bruges has joined the ranks of Paris and New York in this year’s edition of the 50 most Instagrammable places in the world, the only Belgian city to make the cut.

“Often overlooked by its Brussels and Antwerp cousins,” Bruges comes in at number 42 on the 2021 list put together by global travel site Big 7 Travel, placing it between Nice, France (43) and Hoi An, Vietnam (41). Read More.

4. Belgian Tintin ‘Blue Lotus’ cover auctioned for €3.175 million

A cover for Tintin’s “The Blue Lotus” by Belgian comic artist Hergé was sold at auction in Paris for the record sum of €3.175 million including costs, on Thursday.

The drawing in gouache, India ink and watercolour from 1936 was ultimately not used for the comic book cover as the colour palette was too expensive to print. Read more.

5. What happens with already-booked trips if Belgium closes its borders?

Suggestions by experts that Belgium should close its borders have left travellers questioning what such a closure would mean for trips that were already booked.

Now that several cases of the UK variant and at least one case of the South African one have been detected in Belgium, a growing number of experts are speaking out in favour of a border closure or a ban on non-essential travel – especially in light of the upcoming spring break next month. Read more.

6. 82-year-old who died after vaccination: no cause for alarm say experts

The federal agency for medicines and health products (FAMHP) has started an enquiry into the case of an 82-year-old man who died five days after receiving the first dose of vaccination against Covid-19.

The man, a care home resident who was among the first wave of people to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires two doses administered 21 days apart to be fully effective. The man had pre-existing medical problems. Read More.

7. ‘It beats aimless walking’: Mechelen’s streets become covid art gallery

Belgium will start administering the Moderna vaccine on Monday, starting with four hospitals including one in Brussels, the office of Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told Belga News Agency on Wednesday. Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...