The City of the Sun
From 28 March to 18 August 2019
Curators: Marie-Cécile Bruwier, Florence Doyen
The Boghossian Foundation highlights Heliopolis, birthplace of a new city built entirely from scratch by the Belgian industrialist Edouard Empain at the dawn of the twentieth century. Now a part of the vast Egyptian capital, Heliopolis was born of a dream, one which has always brought to mind the city of the same name in Ancient Egypt. Nearly a hundred Egyptian antiquities, ancient works and 20th century objects have been selected by the curators Marie-Cécile Bruwier and Florence Doyen. The exhibition invites the visitor to rediscover the influence of the ancient city as well as the the famous Baron’s founding company. A visionary and patron of the arts, Baron Empain was also Louis Empain’s father, who built the Villa Empain.
A Doctor in Art History and Archaeology, Marie-Cécile Bruwier was the longtime director (scientific, then general) of the Royal Museum of Mariemont. A specialist in Egyptology, she is most notably known for her research on New Kingdom furniture as well as the archaeological excavations she led in Alexandria, under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt. In addition to writing numerous articles, she has coordinated various scientific works, including Mémoires d’Orient. Du Hainaut à Héliopolis and Héliopolis, written in collaboration with Anne Van Loo in 2010, and has developed multiple exhibitions. Now retired, she remains invested in Belgian and European projects Education in Museum Studies and Pyramids & Progress (EOS), respectively.
An expert on Ancient Egypt, Florence Doyen founded the Egyptologica association in 1987 with historian colleagues specialised in Ancient History and Orientalism. Doyen is equally at ease as a lecturer, a guide to permanent collections, temporary exhibitions or historical monuments, and has collaborated with the Université libre de Bruxelles, where she studied, for more than two decades. When she is not working on archaeological excavations in Egypt or Sudan, Doyen is pursuing her research on domestic living in Ancient Egypt. Her work has been published in Acta Orientalia Belgica, Lettres orientales, British Museum Publication on Egypt and Sudan and Ägypten und Levante.