During the inspection of the furniture of Hôtel Métropole before the auction that was initially planned, several items that were offered for sale had heritage value. Now, the sale procedure will be postponed to ensure protection.
Heritage experts analysed all the interior pieces of the Hôtel Métropole offered for sale by auction and found that some of the interior pieces offered for sale had heritage value, meaning they should not be sold. After consultation, it was decided to postpone the sale of all interior items of Hôtel Métropole that were offered for sale, as a precaution.
"The procedure to protect these pieces will be initiated immediately. As a result, these pieces will not be sold and will remain in the hotel –along with those already protected earlier," said Brussels State Secretary for Heritage Pascal Smet. "Respect the past, create the future."
By starting a protection procedure, the current situation is temporarily frozen and the interior elements present are prevented from leaving the building, including the interior items that will most likely not be protected. The majority of the interior items have little chance of being classified, but the decision is made as a precaution.
Much of the interior of the renowned Hôtel Métropole was already classified in 2002, as was the building itself; additional interior pieces will now be added to this classification. In theory, classified interior pieces may change hands, but they may not leave the location they are associated with (in this case, the hotel).
The physical auction on 30 March will be followed by two other online auctions involving around a thousand additional items on sale from 31 March and 11 April. On the day before the sale (29 March), the hotel is organising an exhibition of the lots for those who want to have a look.
Update: This article was updated following an announcement by Brussels State Secretary Pascal Smet that the auction will be delayed.