Brussels Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort and renowned Belgian cartoonist Philippe Geluck on Thursday signed a partnership convention for the creation by 2023 of a museum devoted to cartoons and, in particular, Le Chat (The Cat), the character Geluck created. Le Chat Cartoon Museum is to be located at 6 Rue Royale in Brussels, next to the Brussels Regional Centre, generally known as the BIP, and close to the Museum of Musical Instruments.
Architect Pierre Hebbelinck presented the architectural plan of the contemporary, modular building, which will be constructed by the Brussels Urban Development Company on the site of a building dating back to the 1930s. The project was mounted in close consultation with the Monuments and Sites Department, the Mont des Arts non-profit association and related institutions. It involved many public and cultural institutions, and was developed in collaboration with the Palace of Coudenberg and the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels.
Le Chat Cartoon Museum will stand on area of about 4,000 m2, on seven floors. It will be accessible through a gate girded by two lions at the entrance of the BIP’s Lions Court.
“Le Chat Cartoon Museum will enhance the BIP ‘showcase’, which already hosts the permanent experience.brussels exposition, the visit.brussels offices, a vast interactive model of the regional territory, and various occasional or regular activities, including the regional government’s weekly meeting,” Prime Minister Vervoort commented.
The Urban Development Company plans to apply for the building license for the museum in 2019,
begin building in 2020 and complete the construction work in 2022. It will invest 9.38 million euros in the construction of the building, while Philippe Geluck, with the support of his patrons and private sponsors, will finance all the interior fittings to the sum of 4.5 million euros. The cartoonist-comedian will also donate some of his personal works to the Brussels Region.
The Bozar Centre will contribute the 2.3 million euros needed to create storage spaces in the basement of the building.
Geluck explained that Le Chat Cartoon Museum will retrace, through drawings, sculptures and various objects, the 40-year life of his famous cat, but will also focus on his peers through temporary expositions devoted to the animal.
The museum will also lend its walls to the great masters as well as young talents of the humorous art by running six-month expositions in their honour.
Le Chat Cartoon Museum will also run temporary expositions designed to initiate schoolchildren into the sciences, philosophy, the French language and the plastic arts.