King Philippe was at the Belgian Jewish museum in Brussels on Friday afternoon, five and a half months after the attack that cost four people their lives. It is almost two months since the reopening of the museum, but there is a new exhibition that will open in a few days, which shows the institution wants to move forward. The King arrived a little after 2pm at rue Minimes, where he was welcomed by the Jewish museum’s director, Philippe Blondin, in whose company he visited the museum.
“It’s exceptional, this royal visit is a great honour. We are very, very moved”, declared Philippe Blondin, who said the sovereign appeared very interested during the entire visit.
On the 24th of May, the Jewish museum was the target of a terrorist attack during which an individual, armed with a Kalashnikov and a revolver, opened fire, killing two visitors and two museum employees. The cultural institution was able to reopen its doors on the 9th of September, even though the staff remains extremely affected by the tragic events.
“This visit shows how much the King was moved by events, and this encourages us to go forward and do even better”, the museum director added.
The King’s visit comes a few days before the opening of an exhibition on the French artist Gotlib organized by the Jewish museum. From the 14th of November to the 8th of March 2015, the exhibition “The worlds of Gotlib” will show more than 150 original works, photographic archives, written and audio-visual pieces, by Marcel Mordechal Gotlib, born in Paris on the 14th of July 1934 to a family of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. The father of the famous artist was deported to and killed in Buchenwald in February 1945.
King Philippe left the museum around 3pm, but not without stopping for a few moments in front of a commemorative plaque in the museum’s façade which pays homage to the four victims of the 24th of May 2014 attack.