Rent-a-masterpiece? Not quite - Artwork Library in Liège officially opens

The first ever Walloon Artwork Library (Artothèque) was unveiled on Tuesday at the Chiroux library in Liège. Art lovers will be able to borrow, free of charge, a work of art for a period of two months. The goal is to make contemporary art accessible to everyone.

Want to hang some artwork in your living room, but can't afford any? From now on, you'll be able to borrow some. The new Chiroux library ''Artothèque'' in Liege, opened on Tuesday, places at art lovers' disposal about one hundred works of art, signed by well-established artists (Jacques Charlier, Corillon, André Stas ...) or emerging talents (Elodie Ledure, Sylvain Bureau, Benjamin Monti ...)

These prints, digital prints, photos and cartoon boards can be borrowed for free, with a Chiroux membership card that costs 6 euros per year. The borrowing period lasts two months and can only be renewed once, but the artwork can then be purchased from the artist, for a reasonable price (generally less than 400 euros). Borrowers must sign a contract to cover damage or theft.

The Liège province has invested 27,000 euros for 2014 and 2015 to acquire this collection, "but we are prepared to increase the amount if demand is high", said MLA Paul-Emile Mottard who spearheaded the project.

The goal is to promote artists (the work of 60 artists is on show) and contemporary art to a public who might not be otherwise receptive.

This concept already exists in France and Brussels (Wolubilis) but the Chiroux Art Library is the first one of its kind  in Wallonia. It will be open every Friday (1 pm to 6 pm) and Saturday (9 am to 3 pm). The availability of all pieces can be determined from the public library catalogue.

(Source: Belga)

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