Ministeries and federal authorities own thousands of works of art
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    Ministeries and federal authorities own thousands of works of art

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Federal public services own thousands of works of art, but most have no idea how much they are worth. The paintings aren’t even recorded in an inventory at some federal buildings, De Tijd reported on Saturday.  

    The biggest collection is held by the Foreign Affairs SPF, which has more than 4,500 paintings, sculptures and other pieces. The Foreign Affairs department’s professionalism in the management of their collection means theirs is vastly different to the situation at other federal administrations, according to De Tijd. Most of the time, the administrations have no idea how much their collection is worth and often don’t even have an inventory. Stealing a piece would be child’s play at many places. 

    The Building Management Authority does not have a general inventory of the works of art held at the thousand or so buildings it manages. It generally counts on the fact that the services operating within the buildings will draw one up. 

    At the Finance department, many works of art are just gathering dust. The administration did draw up an inventory in 2016, but the value of the different works of art was never calculated. At the Home Affairs SPF, three quarters of the hundred or so paintings are never used. There is an inventory of borrowed pieces, but it is 15 years old and incomplete. At the Justice department, the penitentiary administration does not have an inventory or archive of the works of art currently held at various prisons.  

    However, the situation is much clearer at the Federal pensions service as they know they have 85 paintings and they are worth 142,000 euros altogether. The Mobility and Public Health SPF no longer has any works of art. 

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times