Projects

For many years and especially since the Fund joined the King Baudouin Foundation it completed several projects financed either by public subsidies and/or the Fund.

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Further Projects

Replacement of the present metallic trellis surrounding the gardens around the church by an artistic wroughtiron fence on a stone plinth. Create mille-fleur flower beds to remind of the famous Brussels tapestries at the time the church was being built and the play of colours produced by the stained-glass windows

A detailed historic study of the gardens was commissioned by the Friends of the Sablon church Fund and conducted by the landscape architect Mrs Anne-Marie Sauvat. Based on the findings she has drawn up a plan and requested planning permission. Since the budget to complete the project is well beyond the financial means of the Fund the historic study of the gardens design plan were delivered to the City of Brussels and design plan – for a total of 47.000 € taken care of by the Fund – were delivered to the City of Brussels and financial support is being requested.

Current state : Planning permission is already obtained.

Create a museum in the sacristy adjoining the sepulchral chapel of the Princes of Thurn and Taxis.

Current state: The restoration of the chapel and the adjoining derelict sacristy is entirely financed by the City of Brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region. It should start in September 2021. The Friends of the church Fund will contribute to the creation of a museum in the sacristy..

Statue of « The Charity » by Jan van Delen, recovered from abroad by the King Baudouin Foundation

Thanks to the King Baudouin Foundation this superb sculpture in Carrara marble which was stolen from the church during the French revolution could be purchased at a public auction in London for 450.000 €. Presently exposed in Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium the statue will be returned to its historical place at the end of the restoration of the chapel.

Ongoing projects

Creation of a museum in the sacristy adjoining the sepulchral chapel of the Princes of de La Tour et Tassis.

The restoration of the adjoining derelict sacristy is in progress. The plaster ceiling has been saved and repaired. The tiles of the floor are restored. The City of Brussels finances the restoration of the chapel and sacristy while the Friends of the Church Fund will take care of the creation of the museum. Proper showcases for the exhibits are being investigated.

Date : 2023

Realised Projects

Repair of marble stairs to the choir and installing a new carpet

The existing floor carpet in the choir was worn out. The new one covers the entire floor and is in better harmony with the mural paintings. The logo on the carpet reminds of the legend of the transportation in a nave of the miraculous statue of the Virgin being brought to Brussels, which is the origin of this church.

Date : 2022

Restoration of the triptych by Michel Coxcie : the Resurrection of Christ with donors

After two years of examinations and restorations at the K.I.K – I.R.P.A. the triptych came back in a splendid condition. The budget of nearly 200.000 € was taken care of by the Brussels-Capital Region and a donation of the Baillet Latour Fund. The Friends of the Sablon church Fund took care of the transportation costs and fixations of some 7.000 €.

Date : 2022

Partial restoration of the nave organ

Due to the organ builder Rudi Jacques this instrument has a different tonality than the great organ at the back of the church. Both are played during the Sunday Masses and some concerts. The restoration by the organ builder Pieter Vanhaecke was taken care of by the Friends of the Sablon church Fund (3800 €).

Date : 2021

Restoration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary painting with four donors of the Great Serment of the crossbowmen

This panel was ordered by four prominent members of the Great Serment of the Crossbowmen of the Sablon with their patron saints behind them. Their names are written on the picture frame. The restoration was performed by Mr Michel Romazzotti assisted by Mrs Sophie Mortier. Underneath a hidden painting has been discovered. The cost of the restoration and study (35.000 €) was taken care of by the Friends of the Sablon church Fund but the Brussels-Capital Region also provided a generous subsidy. The restorers and Mr Joost Vander Auwera, senior curator at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium gave an illustrated conference in the church for the donors.

Date : 2021

Saint Joseph and the Child statue lighting including the adjoining altar

This nice sculpture of Carrara marble dates back to the XVIIth century. The sculptor remains unknown and an identification will be undertaken. It is presently highlighted as well as the adjoining altar.

Date : 2021

Lighting of the four large stained glass windows of the church choir to avoid the permanent shadow of the neighbouring chapels

These four large stained glass windows evoke the brotherhoods of Saint Hubertus and of Saint Wivina besides the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem who have all chosen the church at the Sablon as their rallying place. The domes of the adjoining chapels put the windows permanently in the shade. The spotlights placed outside permit it to be admired in its entirety. The Fund of the Friends took care of the costs.

Date : 2020

Lighting of the cadaver monument of Claude Bouton

This sculpted effigy of Claude Bouton, chamberlain of the Emperor Charles the Vth, and his wife born Lannoy was lit to highlight the lower part with a poems written by the chamberlain who exchanged them with the governess of the Low Countries, Margaret of Austria.

Date : 2020

Conservation and lighting of the XVIIth century boat with the Virgin Mary

This boat with the statue of the Blessed Virgin brought to Brussels symbolizes the legend which led to the building of the church. polychromy of the sculpture was badly flaking off and the repairs performed by Mr Jean-Albert Glatigny and his wife ensures its preservation. The cost of approximately 5.000€ was taken care of by the Fund and a subsidy.

Date : 2020

Lighting of the church choir and nave and its vault to highlight the architecture

By placing the light sources appropriately to avoid dazzling the triforium, the statues of the Apostles and the vault are now illuminated.

Date : 2017

Restoration of the painting of the Virgin Mary with Child and John the Baptist by Abraham Janssen

This painting originally on a wooden panel has been transposed to a canvas. It was restored in the workshop of Mrs. Sophie Mortier. An infra-red photography and stratigraphic analysis were performed. Dr. Joost Vander Auwera senior curator at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium was able to identify the artist as Abraham Janssen. The epitaph honours important members of the household of the Barbançon palace which allows us to identify the donator as a Princess of Arenberg. The total cost of 10.000 € for the studies restoration and transportation were taken care of by a subsidy of Brussels-Capital Region and the Fund of the Friends of the church.

Date
: 2017

Lighting of the stained glass windows for the benefit of outside passers-by

An illumination had been installed some 40 years ago but became partially defective. New LED spotlights were installed which allow passers-by to discover the splendid stained glass-windows in the evening. All lighting works in the church such as these were completed by Aelec enterprise for a total sum of around 70.000 € entirely supported by the Friends Fund.

Date : 2017

Restoration of the early XVth century murals and spandrels of the choir

The building of the church was started by the chevet in 1400. The mural paintings were hardly readable since the last restoration dated back to more than a century. In 2013 a test restoration was performed by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) which was followed by a complete restoration lasting two years (140.000€) financed by a very generous anonymous donor and subsidies of Brussels-Capital Region. It rendered the splendour to the church choir. The spandrels are like a medieval comic strip.

Date : 2015 – 2017

Lighting of the XVIIth century Saint Marcouf chapel

The installation of illumination with appropriate light colour to match the baroque gilding was completed by Aelec entreprise. The costs were supported by the Friends of the church Fund.

Date : 2013

Restoration of the XVIIth century antependium which found back its function

After a meticulous study and restoration by the IRPA this exceptional XVIIth century century antependium made of gold and silver threads, maybe donated by Archduchess Isabella who was a constant patron of the church, returned to its original place. The budget of 9.300 € was taken care of by a subsidy of Brussels-Capital Region and the Friends’ Fund which had not yet joined the King Baudouin Foundation.

Date : 2011