Le patrimoine de la Belgique vu par l’occupant | Un héritage photographique de la Grande Guerre

This book is published in collaboration with the Royal Belgian Institute for Artistic Heritage, a Belgian federal scientific institution.


Belgium’s heritage as seen by the occupier. A Photographic Legacy of the Great War presents a collection of photographs that is unique in the world and retraces, through unpublished archival documents, its history, from the genesis of the inventory project to the present day.

May 1917. Europe is on fire and Belgian civilians have been enduring the German occupation for almost three years. In this dismal atmosphere, the governor general of occupied Belgium gave the green light to an exceptional undertaking: to have the best German specialists draw up a photographic inventory of Belgium’s cultural heritage. The aim was to show that the Germans were not the much maligned barbarians who were blamed for the bombing of many historic towns in France and Belgium. Until the Armistice, between 30 and 40 men and women – art historians, architects and photographers – produced more than 10,000 photographs, all on glass plates and of extraordinary technical and aesthetic quality.


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1203 kg



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