Tag Archives: Antwerp

‘Mad Meg’ is back to Antwerp Museum

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Mad Meg is back home at the Mayer van den Bergh Museum in Antwerp after a two-year absence. The painting will be back on show as one of Mayer van den Bergh’s star attractions from 22 January onward. Having undergone thorough restoration at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels, the painting first travelled to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna for the major Bruegel exhibition there.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Mad Meg has come home. Visitors can renew their acquaintance with the work from 22 January at the home of its discoverer, Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, where it will be on prominent display once more as one of the museum’s star attractions. Previously known as a dark and weird landscape, with a deep-red sky and touches of brown, the painting looks considerably fresher since its restoration. The yellowed layers of varnish and later overpainting have been removed and the splendid original colours are back. The palette of colours has become brighter and more varied, and the panel reveals details that were long invisible, such as the teddy bear, the finely executed helmets and the magnificent landscape in the background. Bruegel’s brushwork and exceptional painter’s talent are visible once more. The sense of space has been restored and the scene as a whole displays a much clearer effect of depth.

In addition to the general Bruegel celebrations in 2019, the Mayer van den Bergh Museum has another reason to mark the return of Dulle Griet: on 5 October, it will be 125 years to the day since Fritz Mayer van den Bergh bought the painting at an auction in Cologne. The strange work was hung high up on a wall and attracted little interest from prospective buyers. Fritz Mayer van den Bergh proved more alert than the various prestigious museums and was able to acquire the painting – a masterpiece previously believed lost – for just 448 old Belgian francs. Mayer van den Bergh had a nose for brilliant discoveries like this and he was fascinated by art that had fallen out of fashion and been forgotten.

Florent Van Ertborn, who acquired around a hundred of the masterpieces now in the Museum of Fine Art in Antwerp, was similarly ahead of his time and also had an eye for the beauty and quality of medieval and Renaissance art.

Starting on 5 October 2019, the Mayer van den Bergh Museum is devoting an exhibition to the shared passion of these leading Antwerp collectors. In addition to Mad Meg and masterpieces by Jean Fouquet, Rogier van der Weyden and Gerard David, visitors will discover the stories behind the acquisitions. Whether these were bargains, investments or brilliant discoveries, Fritz and Florent had a connoisseur’s eye that is clearly visible in the chosen works from their collections. In collaboration with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

Antwerp politics scandalized by ISIS children return

In response to controversial decision of Belgium first instance Court to repatriate six children and two women – wives and children of Islamic state (ISIS) terrorist group militants , Flemish politician Filip Dewinter published a video of “Jihad school” for very young boys, who are taught radical Islam at very early age. (Image above: Al Nusra school in Syria).

In a shocking footage young children phrase Osama bin Laden, and explain that he is the hero they look up to. They also say they would be honored to become martyrs.

Flemish-speaking Court of First Instance had ordered the government to take “all necessary and possible measures” to return children from Syria. The government must deliver within 40 days or face fines of 5,000 euros a day per child.

The children’s mothers, Tatiana Wielandt (26), and Bouchra Abouallal (25), are both Belgian citizens married to ISIS militants fighting in Syria. After their husbands vanished, they were locked up in the Al Hawl camp near the Iraqi border. Both women were sentenced  in absentia  by a court in Antwerp earlier this year for involvement in terrorist activities, and will face five years in jail if enter Belgium.

Filip Dewinter is a Member of Flemish Parliament, and one of the leading members of Vlams Belang nationalist party.

VIDEO: The Lion Cubs Religious Academy, one of several schools run by al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.  Medyan Dairieh, the filmmaker, gained exclusive access to the group, spending time with the militia’s current leadership and the younger generation being indoctrinated to replace them.

Channel human smuggler arrested in UK

A suspect wanted by Antwerp’s authorities for his connection with an alleged people smuggling network was arrested by the UK’s National Crime Agency in close cooperation with Belgian law enforcement.

British national Saman Sdiq (33) was arrested at his home address in the UK  September, 17. He is suspected of providing vehicles from the UK to the criminal network of which several other alleged members have already been arrested and are in custody in Belgium.

Authorities believe the network collected migrants around Calais and took them into Belgium, before loading them into lorries near the town of Postel, near the Dutch-Belgian border. From there they transported migrants across the Channel.

Belgian prosecutors believe they have identified more than 15 attempts to smuggle illegal migrants between November 2017 and April 2018. On a number of occasions illegals, including minors and young children, were found hidden in the cargo space of the trucks.

 “Belgium and the UK stand firm on stamping out this sort of crime and the horrendous ill-treatment of the vulnerable. The condition in which smuggled migrants are made to travel long distances is appalling. We will continue to find those responsible and punish them” – said British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose.

 

 

Europol: 170 kg cocaine in Antwerp

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Police in Alicante (UDYCO) is conducting an investigation on a criminal group involved in cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe. In the framework of this investigation, Spanish authorities obtained intelligence suggesting the arrival of a cocaine container shipment to Antwerp. This information was facilitated to the Belgian authorities through Europol facilitating the exchange of information between both countries.

Europol supported this investigation by facilitating exchange of operational information between the LEAs of both countries and cross checking intelligence submitted by the Spanish authorities against Europol databases. Focal Point Cola is Europol’s team of specialists and analysts dedicated to tackling cocaine trafficking. Since 2001, FP Cola has been combating the activities of suspected criminal organisations and networks involved in producing, processing and trafficking cocaine, as well as pre-cursor chemicals and cutting agents.

On 24 January 2017, the Belgian Customs seized 170 kilos of cocaine inside a container coming from the port of Callao (Peru) and destined to the port of Antwerp (Belgium). A total of 150 cocaine bricks were hidden in rucksacks inside a container transporting frozen vegetables as a legal load.

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