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HORNU
Museum of Contemporary Arts of the French Community


Photos 04154960.JPGThe objective of the Museum of Contemporary Arts is to develop a humanitarian project in which both society and the individuals who make it up take on a central role. The intention of its collection is to not only accumulate master pieces of a mythological contemporary art to which already too many European institutions are committed. Through its acquisitions, the broad spectrum to which the Museum aspires is based on the capacity of its artists to rouse the diversity of the world by way of the individualism of their creations. It is for this purpose that the Consultative Acquisition Committee of the MAC (Museum of Contemporary Arts), composed of Belgian and foreign specialists, has seen itself as a theme leader in respect to the history of the site: its memory, architecture and emotion.
In similarity to its first acquisition "Records of the Grand-Hornu" by the French artist Christian Boltanski, which reveals the identities of the miners who worked on the site in past times, the policy of the Museum is seen mainly as a lyrical means of taking inventory of the world. By approaching current art not as a separate entity but as an activity linked to the whole of the social body, the collections of the MAC are viewed as a cultural heritage accessible to each and everyone.
The architecture which houses the MAC, partly renovated and partly new, is the accomplishment of a close collaboration between the sponsor, the user and the architect. While required to integrate constraints relating to creativity, feasibility and functionality, its modern appearance makes clear the will to respect the initial perspective as much as enforcing its own purpose. This is why the MAC, laid out in full length in a straight line to the former artists studios, displays in certain places the characteristic of being open on to the Grand-Hornu. A combined ticket booth located in the former lamp maintenance room has been designed to encourage the intermingling of the public and to offer every visitor the possibility to freely associate the discovery of the museum to the visit of the site. For an optimal display of the works and a varied stroll around, each exposition hall has been designed by Pierre Hebbelinck according to a particular structure.
Besides the exhibition rooms, the storage rooms and the offices, the MAC also features a 60 seat auditorium, an activities room for the children, a cafeteria, a reception room and a shop.
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