Fairs
Fairs
Fairs

Belgian art fair to be held in Jewish Museum

Site of 2014 terrorist attack to reopen to public; director not deterred by this week’s massacre

by Melanie Gerlis  |  23 March 2016
Belgian art fair to be held in Jewish Museum
Security will be heightened at the Jewish Museum of Belgium
The 2016 edition of Brussels’ Accessible Art Fair (22-25 September) will be in the country’s Jewish Museum that was the site of a terrorist shooting in 2014. Four people died when a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum, which closed for four months straight after and has not been fully open to the public since.
 
Stephanie Manasseh, the director of the artist-led fair, says that this week’s terrorist massacre in the city will not deter her. “I believe that despite the threats and attacks we should continue as normal, as we did after the Paris attacks.” She says, however, that there will be heightened security, including metal detectors, at the event.
 
Manasseh says that the idea to hold the fair’s tenth edition in the Jewish Museum came from its director. Even before this week’s attacks she acknowledged that “putting a business inside that realm is risky; there are lots of things to consider. I took my time and thought this is the right thing to do. It’s time to make this museum live again,” speaking at the Art for Tomorrow conference organised by the New York Times in Qatar on 15 March. Her four-day fair will involve 60 artists’ work, including performances, and will mark the museum’s relaunch.
 
“The Bataclan [theatre in Paris that was the scene of another terrorist massacre] is opening again, people are not going to stop sitting in cafés because of the risks—so let’s say ‘we are not afraid’,” she said at the Qatar conference.
 
Separately, the fair’s organisers have announced that it will open its first overseas edition in New York’s National Arts Club in November.
 

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