• Walter De Buck

    The grandfather of Ghent

    8 Jul 2009 by Lisa Bradshaw
    Although Walter De Buck is known across Flanders for being both a musician and a sculptor, to the people of Ghent, he is much more. Because it was De Buck who, in 1969, put together a music festival outside the Trefpunt cafe in Ghent. Forty years later, we still call it the Gentse Feesten, and it is now Europe's largest music and street theatre festival. Last year 1.5 million people came through. And De Buck is going down in history as a folk hero.Full story
  • KBC CEO asks to be relieved

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    André Bergen, the CEO of Leuven-based bank KBC, will not be returning from sick leave. Bergen, who underwent heart surgery in May, was reported last week to have requested that his mandate be brought to an end. His place will be taken by Jan Vanhevel, who has been filling in for Bergen during his absence. Full story
  • Verhaert boldly goes

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Space technology company Verhaert Space last week gave a last glimpse of its Proba-2 satellite before it is packed up and sent to Russia for launch in November. Proba-2 was commissioned from the Kruibeke-based company by the European Space Agency (ESA). It will be launched to an orbit of 728km, where it will study the sun using two specialised instruments. Full story
  • Colruyt's meat department is consistently popular with shoppers

    Colruyt moves into first place

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Colruyt, the Halle-based no-frills supermarket chain, has moved into first place in the country's retail rankings, overtaking Carrefour for the first time in 2008, according to a study by retail consultancy Marketing Map. Full story
  • Bono phones home


    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Frank De Winne, currently manning the International Space Station, received an unexpected phone call last week: from Bono onstage in Barcelona in the opening concert of the group's new world tour. "Can you see Barcelona?" asked the rock icon. "We have a beautiful view of the blue earth right now," answered the Flemish astronaut. U2 will hit Belgium on its latest tour sometime in 2010.Full story
  • Ensor's "Astonishment of the Mask" loaned to the NY show

    The Ostend curiosity shop

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    "Urban avant-gardist or small-town loony?" So begins a New York Times review of the Ensor exhibition in New York. The question is only partly rhetorical. The writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Holland Cotter, continues: "Belgian painter James Ensor, who has a survey of hilarious, gruesome beauty at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), is a puzzle to fans and strangers alike, a classic insider-outsider." Full story
  • The city as stage

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Every year during Gentse Feesten I make the speech: all that music is fine, I say, but the street theatre is really cool. My friends always give me a look stuck somewhere between sympathy and condescension. It's not that I'm saying we shouldn't dance and jump up and down and drink beer in front of booming stages, it's just that the street theatre offers me more surprises.Full story
  • The Spitfire XII had "clipped" wings to allow better manoeuvrability

    Spitfire fragments recovered

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    A Flemish salvage group last week recovered fragments from a unique Spitfire which crashed in September 1943 in a field in Beveren-Ijzer in West Flanders. The Spitfire XII was a prototype of which only 100 were constructed. Its design was intended to break the dominance of German fighters by flying faster and lower than the existing model. The plane flown by Australian pilot Flight Sergeant Stan May was escorting American fighter-bombers on a mission over Lille when it was shot down.  Full story
  • Smoking ban discriminates, court rules

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The public health committee of the federal parliament last week approved a new smoking ban aimed at clearing up the grey area defining those premises to which a ban does not apply. But the new law seemed likely to be sunk before it was even launched, following a ruling by the Antwerp court of appeal. Full story
  • Philippe Vandenberg

    Troubled painter Vandenberg commits suicide

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Philippe Vandenberg, a painter best known for his large-scale Expressionist works, committed suicide at his home in Ghent last week. He was 57. Full story