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A Park for Modern Art. The Middelheim Open-Air Sculpture Museum in Antwerp
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A Park for Modern Art. The Middelheim Open-Air Sculpture Museum in Antwerp

(Jan van Hove ) The Low Countries - 1994, № 2, pp. 119-124

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In 1950 the then burgomaster of Antwerp, Lode Craeybeckx, taking advantage of the keen interest aroused by the much publicised open-air exhibitions in Battersea Park in London and in the Sonsbeek Park in Arnhem in the Netherlands, had sculptures erected in the lovely garden Middelheim Park on the outskirts of the city. Craeybeckx, the eloquent inspiring champion of an ambitious cultural policy, felt that as a ‘land of painters' Flanders attached too little importance to sculpture. That same year the exhibition in the park drew 125,000 visitors, and its success led to the foundation of the Middelheim Open-Air Sculpture Museum in Antwerp. It has always been the aim of Middelheim to provide a broad international overview of modern sculpture, but a visit there is also a good opportunity for foreign art-lovers to get to know the Flemish sculptors.

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