The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival is a special event that promotes the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region. This year, the Villa Empain is again part of the programme.
For this edition, the Villa Empain, an essential part of Brussels artistic and cultural life, will also open its doors for the first time to guided visits in (French) sign language and in audio description.
Visitors will also have an opportunity to visit the Icons exhibition which unveils how the religious dimension enters art, from the earliest icons of Europe and the Middle East to modern and contemporary works.
The Villa Empain is a hallmark of Brussels’ art world, and also a remarkable testament to the Art Deco movement. It was built at the beginning of the 1930s by architect Michel Polak under Baron Louis Empain’s initiative. Throughout its past as a private house, a museum, the USSR Embassy, and the eadquarters of Luxembourgish television channel RTL, the Villa has reflected the rhythm of Brussels’ history. Partially destroyed and vandalized, it was abandoned at the beginning of the 1980s.
The Boghossian Foundation acquired the Villa Empain in 2006 and began working on its restoration, a process which would take four years. A project simultaneously complex and delicate, the meticulous restoration was carried out with respect to the history of the building and was awarded the Europa Nostra prize by the European Union.