Today, in the presence of the Flemish Prime Minister and the Bishop of Ghent, St.Bavo’s Cathedral unveils a revolutionary new visitor experience for art as part of one of the most ambitious restoration projects undertaken in Flanders. The world-famous Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck is moved to a new location inside the cathedral.

The Cathedral crypt has been extensively adapted for visitors to experience the artwork’s remarkable history, via new visual technology. The Ghent Altarpiece is widely recognised as one of history’s most influential works of art. Its breath-taking splendour is made up of twelve panels, painted recto verso, with its most iconic panel, ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’, at its centerpiece. At the time of its completion in 1432, the van Eyck creation, intended for public viewing, provided colour, brilliance and vividness that astounded the peers of its time. Today, thanks to an extensive modern-day restoration project, the exquisiteness and magnificence created by the van Eyck brothers over 500 years ago, can continue to be admired by the public, in its original home, at a new setting in the Cathedral.

Lode Van Hecke, Bishop of Ghent, said, ‘Religious and Christian heritage is unlocked here in a unique way. I am very grateful for that. This is not only important for the sake of the past, but even more so for today and tomorrow. It confronts us with human’s eternal quest for mystery. I am convinced that many people will find personal resonance here.’

Jan Jambon, Flemish Prime Minister and responsible for Culture, said, ‘Jan Van Eyck was a genius who has been astonishing the world for more than five centuries with his innovative techniques. Both the magnificent restoration and the circumstances in which the Ghent Altarpiece can now be admired are astonishing. The splendour of colours, the details, the lighting: everything is perfect. That makes us proud. We are pleased that the Flemish government was able to contribute to this and that we can show this masterpiece to our children and grandchildren and hopefully soon to many tourists.’

VR Sunil Gohil