Museum Design: Blistering Barnacles, it’s Tintin and Magritte!

There are famously not any famous Belgians. However, today sees the opening of a museum each for two of the Kingdoma��s most celebrated sons: the acclaimed artist - and painter of floating pipes - Magritte and that intrepid boy reporter and comic strip character Tintin.

The Magritte museum , based in Brussels, will house over 250 works on 3 floors and is to be the biggest collection of the great surrealist’s work in the world. The many iconic images he has left us have been hugely influential. His  delicate yet unsettling portrayals of ordinary objects juxtaposed in unusual contexts, and his fine draftsmanship distinguish his work and place him, along with Dali, among the most important of the surrealists.

René Magritte’s genius was perhaps all the more remarkable for the fact that he found painting a difficult endeavour with an apple bobbing around in front of his face as he stood at his easel.

The Tintin museum is the €15m (£13m) Musée Hergé, designed by Pritzker-winning French architect Christian de Portzamparc (Herge being the creator of the quaffed and cherubic journalist) and is in Louvain-la-Neuveis, 20 miles south of the capital. It is to be “a microcosm of the adventures of the comic books”. These books, which relate the derring-doo and escapades of Tintin, his dog Snowy and his cantankerous friend Captain Haddock have sold over 200 million copies and the museum is set to be the first to permanently showcase the work. With a major Spielberg movie due out in a year and perhaps more filmed adventures to follow, the museum, which is financed by Herge’s second wife, seems destined to succeed. Ten thousand thundering typhoons!

Image: Entrance to the new Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Nicolas Borel / Atelier de Portzamparc

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