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Cinquantenaire Park 2030

The federal government intends to transform the Cinquantenaire Park and its institutions into new sociocultural flagship for Belgium, and this by Belgium's 200th anniversary in 2030

On the initiative of the Secretary of State in charge of Science Policy Thomas Dermine , the Minister in charge of the National Lottery Vincent Van Peteghem, the Minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder, the Minister in charge of Beliris Karine Lalieux, the Secretary of State in charge of the Public Buildings Administration Mathieu Michel are joining forces to make the Brussels Cinquantenaire site an attractive, socio-cultural and scientific Belgian flagship once again by 2030, the bicentennial of the Belgium.

The Royal Museum of Art and History, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, and Autoworld are committed to developing, together with the non-profit association Horizon 50-200, an ambitious master plan for the Cinquantenaire site under the banner 'Cinquantenaire 2030' culminating with two hubs focusing on Innovation and Heritage. The Cinquantenaire site and its institutions will become places of encounters, participation, multi-voice dialogue and constant exchange with a strong European orientation.

National and foreign stakeholders will be involved, as well as citizens.

Europe's most ambitious heritage project

The master plan will open the vast collections of existing institutions to the public. A large-scale renovation of the buildings will ensure integration of state-of-the art infrastructures for research and scientific work. The construction of depot space and large-scale redevelopment of the Museum Art and History is planned. The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage will be integrated into a new master plan. The new master plan will initiate a reflection on how to optimize the two halls and to explore synergies in terms of collection management and public activities on a site-wide basis.

The first floor of the Bordiau Hall will be transformed on a transitional basis into a temporary exhibition space. This hall will host the exhibition "Towards New Worlds" on the occasion of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Also, an European competition will be organized for young architects to propose solutions for covering the traffic tunnel that cuts the park in two. The renovated Cinquantenaire site also aims to be a model of sustainability, ecological renovation, and innovation.

A new socio-cultural flagship

To realize this ambition, on September 1, 2022 State Secretary Dermine created the non-profit Horizon 50-200, an enthusiastic team led by Board President Sophie Le Clercq. Their task, together with their colleagues within the Belspo institutions as well as other institutions present on the Cinquantenaire site, is to reinvigorate the Site effective immediately, building towards 2030, under the banner 'Cinquantenaire 2030'. The ambition is to turn the site and its institutions into a new socio-cultural flagship in Brussels.

To set this process in motion, Cinquantenaire 2030 created an “Outdoor Lab” where artists and park visitors can meet each other. Cinquantenaire 2030 also welcomes the Art Nouveau Year and a Hoffmann exhibition in 2023. In addition, two large-scale projects at the intersection of art and science, heritage and innovation will be launched from 2024: one questioning the role of a museum in the XXIst century and the other "Towards New Worlds: Belgian exploration through time and space", led by the Belgian scientific institutions. Many more are in the pipeline. The programming that is helping to set the transformation of the site in motion is possible thanks to the support of National Lottery players. The aim is for Cinquantenaire Park to become a historic place where history is made every day by everyone together."

To achieve this ambitious goal, the non-profit association is working with the Brussels authorities, Europe, the federal and the Brussels governments and their institutions, as well as many partners, private stakeholders, and public agencies, under the banner Cinquantenaire 2030.

Alexander De Croo

Prime Minister

"Together we want to make the Cinquantenaire site the place where everyone can meet. It is a collective Moonshot, we do this together with our scientific institutions, with the different museums that are here, with the buildings Administration and with Beliris"

Johannes Hahn

European commissioner
"The Cinquantenaire Park is the green heart connecting people from all across Brussels and Europe. We feel lucky to have such a unique park so close to us. Therefore, the Commission is happy to be involved in the new plans which reflect a true Belgo-European cooperation. Together with the Belgian authorities, we just launched a European competition for young architects to design innovative solutions covering the tunnel. I am looking forward to seeing European creativity in action in the Cinquantenaire site. This could become a flagship project under the New European Bauhaus".

Vincent van Peteghem

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
"With the support of the National Lottery players, we are putting the Cinquantenaire site on the path to 2030. The site will be given a new lease of life, with two European poles around Innovation and Heritage. When heritage, science and culture meet and strengthen each other, and dialogue with the general public, the Lottery is a partner of choice to support them".

Rudi Vervoort

Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region
"CinquantenairePark is a symbolic gateway to our urban region. It is not only a park, but also a jewel of our heritage and a space for sports and relaxation. It is a place of great transit that is visible from afar, but which is underused. Our ambition is to restore it to its full potential!"

Karine Lalieux

"The Cinquantenaire site is a symbolic place of our capital, a marker in the heart of the Region, but the necessary renovation of the site is not lost on anyone. To make this renovation project a success, it is essential that all the active forces participate, including of course the Beliris federal fund. Through the experience of its teams, and its financial support, Beliris will be an essential ally in bringing this ambitious project to fruition, not only because of its size and heritage aspects, but also because of the institutions the buildings house. Once again, Beliris is demonstrating that it is an important partner for all major renovation and restoration projects in the Brussels Region”.

Ludivine Dedonder

“The War Heritage Institute being part of this project is self-evident for me. A dynamic place where history, science, and innovation meet: that is what this project represents. It will allow us to attract an additional public who will be able to discover our past, our present and our future in this museum pole in the heart of Europe."

Mathieu Michel

Secretary of State
"The Cinquantenaire buildings are of historical importance, built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgium's independence. Since then, it has become an emblematic symbol of Belgian history and culture. Maintaining and improving these symbolic buildings is a responsibility we owe not only to our history, but also to future generations. Since 2018, the Buildings Administration has been undertaking the renovation of the roofs of the Museum Art and History, Autoworld and the Military Museum. The total cost of the roof works is about 21 million euros including VAT. With this renovation, the administration is also contributing to the ambition to make Belgium's heritage more energy efficient. For the 200th anniversary of our country in 2030, the administration will do everything in its power to ensure that the Cinquantenaire site can assume its role as an important beacon representing the history, culture and beauty of our country, with an equitable solution for all those involved in the site so that they can carry out their missions."

Pascal Smet

Secretary of State for the Brussels-Capital Region
"A true showcase for the federal collections and the Belgian heritage, a green setting in the heart of the capital and the gateway to the European quarter, the Cinquantenaire site surely is one of the best symbols of our Region. The Federal Government and the Brussels Region are joining forces today to project this site into the future, to highlight its exceptional past and to pass on its heritage to future generations. Through the restoration and highlighting of the architectural heritage and collections, the development of the site and the landscape, the granting of permits, the launch of the competition to cover the entry/exit of the tunnel and the desire to create a European heritage hub, the Brussels-Capital Region intends, thanks to the Cinquantenaire 2030 project, to play a fundamental role in the future of this exceptional heritage and to make it shine on the international stage. The goal for 2030? To make it one of the most beautiful visiting cards of our Region.”

Team Cinquantenaire 2030

Horizon 50-200
"The canal zone, which is in full development, focuses on the contemporary arts. The Mont des Arts is known for Fine Arts. In addition to these two cultural hubs in Brussels, we want to build a sociocultural hub in Brussels. It will be the place where heritage, culture, sciences and innovation meet to strengthen the dialogue with the public."

Philippe Close

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome this magnificent project, Cinquantenaire 2030, in the heart of the European quarter. What better way to celebrate Belgium's bicentenary than with more encounters between the people of Brussels, their institutions, culture, and science!"

Vincent De Wolf

Mayor of Etterbeek
"As Mayor of Etterbeek, the Cinquantenaire is at the heart of my daily work. Our municipality shines thanks to its presence and works every day to ensure its security and to perpetuate its appeal. With the prospect of the country's bicentenary, the project that is taking shape does not lack ambition and we support it. We are also delighted that it fully integrates Europe. Not only because the institutions are located on the periphery of the park, but also because most of the people living along its borders represent Europe intensely. In order to make this project a reality in 2030, we need to fully involve the inhabitants around the Cinquantenaire Park, which will allow us to further enrich the concept.”

Thomas Dermine

State Secretary
"The ambition is great. The current site is still too much a mirror of how Belgium handled its heritage in the last century. Our country's 200th anniversary is therefore a unique moment to come up with a future vision for the site and embody a vision for our country. The revamped Cinquantenaire site thus becomes perhaps the most challenging heritage project in Europe. We have the opportunity to transform the historic site into a campus of museums and institutions that share stories of a super- diverse society, with exhibitions with which to inspire future generations and institutions that provide a platform for research and encounter in the heart of Europe."

Alain Maron

"In addition to its function as a green setting for cultural institutions, the Cinquantenaire site is also a precious haven of nature, tranquility and coolness in the heart of the city, frequented by many inhabitants and users. It plays an essential role in the city's adaptation to climate change. The Cinquantenaire 2030 project, which will be coordinated with Brussels Environment, which is responsible for managing this green space, will be an opportunity to improve its quality and sustainability for the benefit of all."


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