Photo of the week: Over the moon

Summary

The people known as the ‘moon extinguishers’ are hosting a fantastical installation in Mechelen’s cathedral

Holiday must-see

If you didn’t see the fantastic – and fantastical – installation Museum of the Moon at the Ghent Light Festival last year, now is your chance. Until 27 December, the moon and its accompanying music and dazzling lights are on show in Sint-Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen.

British artist Luke Jerram created the piece, which is seven metres in diameter, because the moon is a wonder of science and of mythology all at once. “The idea behind ‘Museum of the Moon’ actually came from living in Bristol,” he says in a video describing his inspiration. “Bristol’s got the second-highest tidal range in all of Europe; there’s a 13-metre gap between high tide and low tide. And it’s the moon that’s making that happen.”

The moon also “acts as a cultural mirror,” he says. “Every culture has different stories to tell about the moon.”

That’s certainly true of Mechelen. The townspeople are known – originally in jest and now with a sense of pride – as Maneblussers. Literally ‘moon extinguishers’, the name stems from an embarrassing moment in 1687 when the glow of the moon was taken for a fire in Sint-Rombouts cathedral tower.

So it’s hard to imagine a better place to see “Museum of the Moon”. There are also storytelling moments, a Christmas concert and evening opening times.

Photo: Thierry Roge/BELGA