Minister-President Rudi Vervoort accompanies our King and Queen to Portugal

Belgium’s king and queen travelled to Portugal on a three-day state visit from 22 to 24 October, in the company of Rudi Vervoort, the Minister-President of the Brussels Capital-Region. The exchanges focused on art and digital technology.

Speech by Minister-President Rudi Vervoort during the inauguration of the exhibition “For a Brave New Brussels”, in Lisbon.

The “For a Brave New Brussels” exhibition.

Maarten Vanden Eynde’s work titled “Cosmic Connection” in the “For a Brave New Brussels” exhibition. The visualisation of a utopian attempt to reconnect with the sky…

Younes Baba-Ali’s work “Paraboles”.

Visit of the MAAT.

Isabelle Grippa, the Director-General of hub.brussels, gave the opening statement to the BIM (Building Information Modelling) seminar.

BIM (Building Information Modelling) seminar.

Visit of a mobile unit to help prevent drug abuse and reduce drug-related risks, in Lisbon. A few weeks later, the Brussels-Capital Region decided to adopt the Lisbon model and establish a centre that offers a wide range of low-threshold service for drug users by 2023.

Visit of the non-profit organisation Largos Residencias, in Lisbon, which contributes to the local and social development of its environment by organising various social-cultural activities. A good example of social cohesion.

Meeting with a group of Brussels artists and tour of a selection of works in the “For a Brave New Brussels” exhibition. His Majesty the King, the Minister-President and the artist Frederik De Wilde.

 

The state visit took our Royals to Lisbon and Porto. As usual, there were plenty of ceremonies, receptions, meetings and events on the programme: the state banquet, the meetings with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the laying of a wreath at the Monument to the Dead of the Great War and the visit of the Serralves Foundation in Porto.

 

State banquet organised by Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at the National Palace of Ajuda.

 

Contemporary art, one of the many assets of Brussels

The Brussels-Capital Region organised several of the events on the programme. On 22 October, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort inaugurated an exhibition titled “For a Brave New Brussels”, dedicated to smart cities. The exhibition featured works by 11 Brussels artists, and was hosted by the magnificent Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), along the Tagus.

 

Lisbon’s superb Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT).

 

The exhibition, which was co-curated by BOZAR, les Halles St-Géry and the Brussels association Gluon, was a resounding success and a great opportunity to showcase the work of the many excellent artists who live and work in our capital city.

 

Building Information Modelling: digitisation in the construction industry

The exhibition’s theme, which is very topical, matched the theme of the seminar which hub.brussels organised on Tuesday 23 October at the prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

This event highlighted Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the digitisation challenges the construction industry faces. BIM includes architecture software that allows architects to easily scale plans and 3D digital models and calculate the material they need. This innovative approach allows them to anticipate errors and to correct them digitally, rather than on the actual construction site.

 

Building bridges between artists, researchers and the business community

After the speeches and a panel discussion, an on-screen exhibition showcased the products and achievements of Brussels companies operating in this sector. Apart from that,  a selection of works from the “For a Brave New Brussels” exhibition was also shown at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This interactive presentation enabled His Majesty the King to meet with three Brussels artists, which he enjoyed very much, and also offered an opportunity for an interesting discussion on art and the technological innovation of companies. The Gluon Foundation also wishes to build bridges between artists, researchers and the business community.

 

Annemarie Maes’s work “The Intelligent Guerilla Beehive / part II”. A bio-installation on the cusp between art and science.

 

Health, society and sustainability

The Minister-President took advantage of his presence in Lisbon to meet with Alexis Goosdeel, the Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Fernando Medina, Lisbon’s Mayor, Manuel Grilo, the Alderman for Education and Social Rights and Catarina Viz Pinto, the Alderwoman for Culture and International Relations. They discussed security, tourism and cultural projects respectively. Rudi Vervoort also visited the mobile methadone unit and Largos Residencias, a non-profit association that specialises in sustainable tourism.

 

Bilateral meeting on preventing drug abuse, with Alexis Goosdeel, the Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, and Manuel Grilo, the Deputy Mayor of Lisbon.