Tag Archives: Belgium

Belgium Royal Greenhouses floral performance

Belgium Royal Greenhouse complex opens to the public during a fortnight exposing the collection of plants in its splendor, when most flowers are in full blossom. It is an excellent opportunity to enjoy both the wonderful architectural creations of the pioneer of Belgian Art Nouveau –  Alphonse Balat and a distinguished plant collection. The complex offers an impressive variety of rare plants and flowers, a majority of which date back to King Leopold II original collection.

854CAC52-87D8-433E-B6AC-E3C4AE148CFCThis year Greenhouses are accessible from Friday April 19 to Friday May 10 2019 including. They are also visited by heads of state during official visits all year round. Among guests of honor First Lady of the United States Melania Trump  enjoyed beauty of plants blossom during an excursion guided by Queen Mathilde of Belgium in 2017.

5373777B-0E02-4E96-98EB-DA18582742E8In 1909, there were 314 species of camellias in the royal collection in Laeken, with more than 1000 plants. Nowadays only 305 remain. The camellias are the world’s largest and oldest collection in a greenhouse.

07C09771-6257-47E3-9ED2-6BA5A5ADFFDD

Although stunning in its floral beauty, the complex was also conceived to host high profile receptions and conferences under auspices of the Belgium Royal family.

DA0F1997-F40B-4B46-8174-E9EB858F5058

Famous across the globe the royal botanic collection, with old exotic plants from Africa and various species of flowers which are cultivated inside the royal greenhouses, many of them flourish since times of King Leopold II ( )

CD920409-8A25-4F38-847C-7F1FA2C03A17

The Winter Garden was built in 1874 -1876 and was the first greenhouse in Europe to be built. Its immense dimensions and spacious interior design hosting a wide variety of palm trees to grow and expand extensively in symbiosis with the other plants.

3B8525CC-FDB8-409D-92F0-F59CA4A4600F

With the design of the Royal Greenhouses, Balat have chosen to introduce the innovation of glass and iron into his prestigious decoration motifs, intertwining them with flowers and plant leaves. Deriving from this concept, he erected a magic Glass City set in a classical landscape. Balat made a first step towards the Art Nouveau architecture, his disciples and followers would develop.

FDFE91B0-495B-45EC-86BB-D6D3EDA6ECA4

The gardens date back to the 18th century, but King Leopold II  decided to modernise its garden-architecture, and commissioned  and designed new look to Alphonse Balat (1873). Today the greenhouses of Laeken are considered as exceptional artefacts of Art Nouveau.

EB038429-8394-4FA0-8A4F-790135A6514C

Balat dedicated a great deal of his artistic research to a stylistically innovative  combination of Renaissance and Neoclassical elements. For most of his interior designs, he favored elements from the French kings Louis XV and Louis XVI styles.

 

 

 

 

Pigeon auctioned for €1.25m

A champion pigeon has been auctioned for a record €1.25m ($1.42m/£1.07m).

Auction house Pipa called Armando the “best Belgian long-distance pigeon of all time”. He’s also been dubbed the “Lewis Hamilton of pigeons“.

Before this epic sale, the record was €376,000 (£321,800). However, Pipa representative explains the record was beaten within a day of Armando being put up for bids. The champion bird (5 years), is now enjoying his retirement and has already fathered a number of chicks. Reportedly the happy new owner of the bird is a Chinese pigeon amateur. (Image above: illustration).

La BRAFA: Art Without Frontiers

“Art Without Frontiers” – because never before has Brafa hosted so many foreign galleries. Numbering  84, these now represent 63% of the total number of exhibitors.

dsc_0612And this is to be applauded, as it confirms both the stability of the national market, where the myth of the Belgian collector is clearly still seductive, and the increased international power of the Fair, which grows with every edition.

dsc_0537

This is an ideal start to the year, when the geographic position of Brussels at the centre of some of Europe’s wealthiest regions and its great connectivity with them, the quality of the Brussels hotels and the organisation of the Fair, as well as the relaxed Belgian style atmosphere of the event are probably all criteria which contribute to its attraction.

dsc_0618Art Without Frontiers” – because Brafa has always aimed for a mix of styles, eras, and origins, and has made eclecticism and cross-collecting its real trademark.

This trend is particularly popular with today’s collectors and art lovers, who like to put together collections where old, modern, and contemporary live side by side; where an antique bust may be happy sitting cheek by jowl with an African mask or a 20th Century sculpture, showcased on an 18th Century chest of drawers under a designer mirror or framed masterpiece.

This is a reflection of our contemporary era, where we exchange, consume, buy, sell and travel well beyond our own frontiers and continents.

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.

IS militants families ordered repatriation to Belgium

A Belgian judge has ordered the relevant government offices to repatriate six children of Islamic State (IS) militants and their mothers who have been detained in a camp in Syria, the national news agency Belga said reported.

Tatiana Wielandt, 26, and Bouchra Abouallal, 25, both Belgian citizens, and their children have been held in the Al-Hol camp in since the defeat of Caliphate in nearly all territory it once held in Syria and Iraq.

Belga quoted the court ruling as ordering the government to take all necessary and possible measures to ensure the six Belgium citizens and their mothers can return home.

After a series of terrorist attacks Belgium has changed the rules, ordering anyone returning from the Levant a pre-trial detention and a three–five-year (and sometimes longer) prison sentence. In jail, these individuals are spread among the general prison population with individual security measures and monitoring, as well as constant assessment of radicalisation behaviour by trained staff and special units.

Furthermore, inmates are offered tailor-made disengagement programmes and probation measures to facilitate their return to society. The security services and local agencies receive relevant information from the prison authorities to ensure continued monitoring and adequate counselling.

Belga news agency did not inform about the further procedures concerning the group of IS members of the family.

Belgium government turmoil over Migrant Compact

Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) confirmed on Sunday (9/12/2018) that he, along with the party’s other ministers would resign over disagreement with Prime minister Charles Michel over signature of Global Comapact on migration in Marrakesh, Morocco, at UN-led conference scheduled for Monday, December 10.

It’s clear,” he told to RTBF, following hours of uncertainty.

The decision means Charles Michel will lead a minority government for the five months before parliamentary elections scheduled for late May.

He will now have to appoint ministers to replace those held by the N-VA — which had been the largest of the coalition’s four parties — including the interior, finance, defence and migration portfolios.

In power for four years, the coalition has often been riven over the N-VA’s anti-migration positions.

Party leader Bart De Wever issued an ultimatum to Michel on  Saturday night, suggesting the N-VA would leave the coalition if the Prime minister flew to a UN conference in Marrakesh on Sunday to endorse the pact.

Michel stood firm, saying he would represent Belgium in Marrakesh as the “head of state of a responsible coalition”.

A ‘last attempt’ cabinet meeting was held late Saturday, but failed to overcome the differences between the parties.

The non-binding UN accord, which would promote a common global approach to migrant flows, has become notorious  for European anti-immigration parties.

It was initially supported by all four parties in Belgium‘s coalition, but the N-VA changed its position in late October.

The crisis had been going on for several weeks before bursting into the open when Prime minister Michel, a Liberal, turned to parliament after failing to unite his government behind the pact.

The N-VA and the far-right Vlaams Belang party voted against the accord.

The draft UN pact lays down 23 objectives, claiming to open up legal migration and better management of a global flow of 250 million people in need.

The United States refused the talks on the pact last year, joined by a number of European countries like  Hungary, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Australia, and Croatia.

Germany expels Iran “terrorist-diplomat”

A German court announced the extradition to Belgium of an Iranian diplomat accused of involvement in a foiled bomb plot targeting a gathering of Iranian dissidents in a Paris suburb in June this year.

In a statement (27/09) the court in Bamberg  said  that it had approved the extradition of an Iranian diplomat based in Vienna who has been named as Assadollah Assadi.

The wanted man cannot cite diplomatic immunity because he was on a several day holiday trip outside his host state Austria and not travelling between his host country and the state that dispatched him,” the court said.

Six people were arrested in Belgium, France and Germany, plotting to target a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The plot was revealed after a husband and wife duo was caught in Brussels in possession of 500 grams of the powerful explosive TATP and a detonator.

The couple were identified as Amir S. (38), and Nasimeh N., (33). A suspected accomplice of the couple, identified as Merhad A. (54), was arrested when he lodged in an hotel in Paris.

All three are Belgian nationals of Iranian origin.

« Older Entries