HIZKIA brings the Flemish masters home

Years of preparation by the KMSKA led up to this single moment, which we were lucky enough to be a part of.

On 24 September 2022, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) will open its doors to the public after eleven years of construction and renovation. The installation of the art in the exhibition halls is an important milestone in the run-up to the reopening. ‘The Baptism of Christ’ by Peter Paul Rubens is the first painting to be mounted, and it is also one of the KMSKA’s absolute masterpieces.

On 15 March, this first monumental Rubens was moved by HIZKIA from the internal depot to the exhibition hall. Due to its size, this painting had remained untouched in the museum for ten years. Subsequently, the other old and modern masters will follow. The result: seven centuries of outstanding art in an intriguing architecture and compelling mise en scène.

The reinstallation of the works will be done by HIZKIA Willebroek in phases and according to a strict plan. An outstanding selection of 650 works of art from the total collection of some 8,400 pieces will soon be on display. The works that are not exhibited are made accessible by the KMSKA via the digital collection catalogue on the website.

“We know exactly where each work will be hung or placed. Our own team of curators and restorers, together with HIZKIA’s experienced art transporters and art handlers, will ensure that this extremely delicate undertaking is brought to a successful conclusion. These will undoubtedly be the most exciting moments of the entire building process. Now, everything will be falling into place. We will finally see how the art and the renovated building interact,” says Carmen Willems, general director of the KMSKA.

We are absolutely thrilled and extremely proud to be involved in this historic event and look forward to continuing to contribute our expertise as the Flemish masters return home to Antwerp!