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For sale: 25,000 CDs from the Muntpunt collection

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Car-free Sunday: a time to take in the quiet of the city and stay indoors to avoid the risk of being mown down on the road by a mad three-year-old on a trike.

There is one other attraction. Muntpunt, the main Flemish public library on the Muntplein in the centre of Brussels, is selling off its entire collection of 25,000 CDs.

Who remembers CDs? They were, of course, the last rave music medium before streaming and before hipster retro vinyl made a comeback. CDs, or compact discs (a technology developed by Philips) could carry more music than cassette tapes, and blank CDs were available (unofficially) for making copies of other people’s music, and for other purposes, such as computer files.

But the cloud and streaming services have put paid to that utility, and most remaining CD players now lie unused. But not all.

“I’ve been a collector for 40 years” Roen Mertens, a music blogger, told the VRT.

“It all started with Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ and then everything got out of hand and I now have a collection of 10,000 CDs. And I will continue to buy them, until I die. Or anyway as long as the record companies press them,” he said.

The decision by Muntpunt to write the CD off as dead is described as ‘drastic’ by Jasper Wentzel, boss of record label PIAS.

“You never know. There are probably recordings that are hard to find, not even on the streaming services. In a way this is heritage that is disappearing. As for myself, I will never stop buying CDs.”

Muntpunt is open today from 10.00 to 18.00. Entrance is free, and items for sale cost €1 or €5. No cars in town, so bring a wheely suitcase.

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