Funding for digital heritage archive
The government of Flanders has announced funding in the amount of €11.8 million for a Flemish Institute for Archiving and Retrieval of Audio-visual Heritage (VIAA). The project will be coordinated by the non-profit Waalse Krook in Ghent and the work carried out by iMinds. iMinds will receive a one-time subsidy of €7.8 million, while the infrastructure costs will be picked up by the culture and media ministries.
Institute will look after a “treasure trove” of audio-visual material
“We have such a treasure trove of audio-visual material in Flanders; it’s high time we kept it in a systematic and sustainable manner for this and future generations,” said media minister Ingrid Lieten.
Culture minister Joke Schauvliege, meanwhile, paid a visit to the Fine Arts Museum in Ghent last week to see the restoration of the Van Eyck brothers’ masterpiece “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” (pictured). The altarpiece is being restored at a cost of €1.4 million, 80% of which is paid by the Flemish government. The rest is being financed by Sint-Baaf ’s Cathedral, where the painting is normally housed and where it will return after the five-year project is completed. Members of the public can follow the restoration work at the museum during opening hours.
In other heritage news, Herita, the Flemish heritage association launched last September, has named Kristl Strubbe as its director-general. Strubbe was until recently the IT and finance alderwoman in Mechelen. Herita brought together three previously disparate organisations in the field: Heritage Flanders, the Forum for Heritage Associations and Open Monument Day.