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Feniks

Reconstructing Flanders Fields

  • royal hall
  • temporary exhibition

About

“Reconstruction is more important than destruction and deserves to be remembered.” These words of the Belgian war reporter Rudi Vranckx fit perfectly with In Flanders Fields Museum’s temporay exhibition on the post-war reconstruction. Just like in Syria today, a hundred years ago large parts of Belgium were totally destroyed. It was only thanks to the local population that towns and villages rose from their ashes. The exhibition

FENIKS
Reconstructing Flanders Fields

is an ode to the resilience of forgotten men and women who cleared rubble and rebuilt their country after the First World War.

In 2020, the Westhoek region will entirely focus on the reconstruction. Feniks is therefore more than just a temporary exhibition. It is the introduction to the project that spans the entire region, from Nieuwpoort to the French border, and tells the story of a region that rose lightning fast from its ashes. This resurrection was by no means self-evident. In 1918, many thought that it would be impossible to fully restore an area almost as large as London. According to them, foresting the entire former front zone was a better option.

Feniks shows how things turned out in the end. The photo collection of the Ypres photographers Maurice and Robert Antony runs like a thread through the exhibition and offers a surprising view on the different facets of reconstruction. Personal stories and unique objects bring the story of the reconstruction to life. All this in the largest and most iconic monument to reconstruction in the country: the Ypres Cloth Hall. After all, which building better depicts post-war reconstruction than the world's largest Gothic civil structure?

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photographic report of the exhibition

Feniks