Saturday, January 31, 2009

Museum or Scrap yard?

Walking through the Belgian Schelde river town of Baasrode today as the light faded and the east wind cut slices from our faces, we came upon the Scheepvaart Museum Baasrode. So the sign on this rather sad looking barge said. Peering through the chain link fencing, all we could see was a wheelhouse stripped by neglect and a fine old wooden rudder going green with the accumulated moss of decay, not display. The buildings alongside were also gathering dust and grime, but through the windows we could see attempts had been made at erecting stands and exhibits. They had the abandoned air of a project in regress. Very sad to see, but also very Belgian.


  1. sad to see something so at one time so beautiful, neglected.

  2. what is the second picture?

  3. Make you want to smash the glass and rescue those fascinating objects from their abandoned Purgatory, no?

    I'm curious as to what makes this particularly Belgian? The neglect? The lack of follow-through? The abandonment? Nothing good, I imagine!

    Hope your January hasn't been too harsh.

    - Chris

  4. Yes, Grace, it is sad, and Mo, the second picture is of a display case. I took it through the dusty window of the crumbling museum.

    Chris, what makes it typically Belgian? I think all three of the points you mentioned. Funnily enough, I love Belgium. It's the home of surrealism, and there is something surreal about the whole country. Nothing really seems to make much sense there!

    January hasn't been so bad here, just very cold, but thank you for asking. Hope you are well too and surviving the economic nightmare that seems to be afflicting so many poor souls in the US.

  5. Reminds me of the bit in your book where you look for a barge and go to that one that is old and abandoned in a similar type place!

  6. Sometimes decay and abandonment can be almost romantic, and certainly makes interesting pictures. Some abandonment is just... sad. Like is the case here obviously. I think Belgium is another country I have to visit, though...

    Speaking of visits... I've been thinking that I'd quite like to go to Holland for a holiday, Amsterdam and maybe Rotterdam, as I've never been. What time of the spring would you say is best for visiting? I've not decided anything yet, just that I'd like it and that I'd quite like travelling in the spring

  7. Is a museum not simply a catalogued scrapyard?



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