Thursday, April 6, 2023

Antwerp, Belgium's Precious Museum


About 85 percent of the world’s uncut diamonds pass through Antwerp’s Diamond District, a compact commercial enclave jammed with diamond dealers, cutters, polishers, and showrooms since the 15th century.  I immersed myself in the story behind them all and headed to DIVA – a brilliant museum about all that glitters.

For the design and display features, several well-known Belgians, including Gert Voorjans, an interior designer who is known in fashion circles for creating boutiques.  He designed the first of the museum’s six galleries: an intimate wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities. 

It's a fascinating place to see Belgium’s centuries-old diamond trade.  Diva has an enviable location, around the corner from the town hall and Great Market Square.  I was amazed at the uncountable varieties of diamonds in all shapes, sizes, and colors present in the museum. 

Alongside its stunning permanent collection, DIVA also hosts multiple temporary expositions per year. The new presentation of the collections, entitled “Diva, a Brilliant Story” is available in seven rooms. 

Visitors will discover the latest techniques in jewelry production such as urban mining (recovery of precious materials from used appliances), up-cycling, and diamond labs.  The ecology and ethics surrounding, in particular, the extraction of diamonds will be discussed (think "blood diamonds").  Explanations from experts, traders, and designers are also an integral part of the new exhibition.  An audio guide inside the museum will take you through the museum at your own pace.

The DIVA museum is almost overwhelming with its countless displays, so I was thankful to sit on a bench at their third-floor rooftop patio and soak in the sun.  Don't rush through the museum, take your time and enjoy the beauty of the precious works of art.

From August 26, 2023, to October 8, 2023, enthusiasts will also be able to discover the results of the Triennale de l’Argenterie, the most important international goldsmith’s competition. The artists Triin Kuuk, originally from Estonia, and Andrea Raluca Cojocaru, from Romania, will be in residence from the beginning of April. They will present their creations to visitors.

Daily from 10.00-18.00

Closed on Wednesdays.

Big Girls Need Big Diamonds




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