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Quartier des Arts - defending Brussels heritage for 50 years

An association which may be little known to the public at large, but which defends the heritage of the part of the city around the Sablon, Place Poelart and Place Royale (from the Botanical Gardens to the Law Courts), is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Quartier des Arts is presided by Baron Georges Jacobs, who describes the body in these words: “The Quartier des Arts was created in 1967 to promote the activities, restoration and quality of the Brussels heritage. It is within the district that a whole series of points of interest of major importance for the good functioning of a capital, are to be found”.

To illustrate the work it carries out, the association gives a number of prime examples. Firstly, the Grand Sablon, where the question of the central car park is again in the news. A temporary solution to this will be created by installing controlled entrances and making the car-park paying. Once the underground car park at the nearby Place Poelaert has been extended by 120 places, it should be possible to eliminate car parking from the Sablon.

Another project is the Palais des Académies, located on the Avenue des Arts almost opposite the Rue Montoyer. The main façade, facing the European district, is largely hidden by trees. Removing a handful of these and making an existing passageway to the back of the palace from the Avenue des Arts more accessible, will not only return a major piece of heritage to the population, but help in another of the association’s objectives: to create a link between the Place Royale district and the European district.

The Place du Trône is also in the sights of the association. It wishes to bring back the original ‘park’ character of the square, by removing hedges around the statue which currently hinder this. Such a move – fully supported by the latest major occupant of the square, AG, will open up the greenery without impacting on the mobility which is so necessary for the Royal Palace.

The Quartier des Arts has also vehemently opposed the construction of a new Law Courts on the Boulevard du regent, because this would make the demolition of the existing Courts on the Place Poelaert, a likelihood.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, finally, the association has presented its bi-annual prize for a project which contributes to the values it holds dear. This year, Brussels Environment takes the honours, for the preservation work on the railings and statues of the Petit Sablon. The Fondation Poelaert and Conservamus also received awards this year for projects involving the Law Courts and the Royal Conservatory. All winners received their awards from King Albert II on Saturday.

Brussels Environment has ben rewarded for preserving the Petit Sablon. (Image: ebru)
Brussels Environment has ben rewarded for preserving the Petit Sablon. (Image: ebru)

| 04/12/2017

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