Museum of Capitalism opens in Brussels

Museum of Capitalism opens in Brussels
Credit : Facebook / Musée du Capitalisme

The Belgian Museum of Capitalism in Brussels opened on 6 March and can be visited until 13 April. To explain the thinking behind the institution, the founder Mathias Cox spoke to Flemish newspaper De Standaard.

The creator behind the initiative explained that inspiration came from a trip to the Czech capital of Prague, when Cox and a group of friends visited the city's Museum of Communism. The group assumed that there must be an institution for the ideological opposite: capitalism. Yet after finding that this did not exist, the group decided to create the museum themselves.

One of the museum's particularities is that it is a travelling museum and has no set location. It has opened at various sites since its conception in 2012, with volunteers setting it up at various Belgian cities and often schools, with the aim of teaching children about capitalism. The museum is now situated in Brussels at the Masui building, which usually hosts the Zinneke Parade.

The museum's organisers gave De Standaard a guided tour, with Cox describing the exhibitions as a "committed but impartial" place for people to learn about capitalism. Indeed, the museum sets out to display both the positive and negative aspects of the economic model, with a hall for hope and a hall for limitations.

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The first room recognises the developments that capitalism has brought, such as medical advancements. Cox explains that "profitable patents encourage the development of new treatments" which results in "us living and in better health".

But the second part of the exhibition reveals a darker and more insidious side of capitalism. Once again, the example of medicine is used to highlight how "profit becomes more important than the actual health of patients".

The final room attempts to reach common ground by presenting alternatives to capitalism such as environmental socialism, communism and anarchism. The museum also uses this hall to reflect on what changes can be made to the current form of capitalism.

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