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"Antwerpen - Het steen ( scheepvaart museum )" Het Steen - National Maritime Museum Tip by speed4turtles

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by speed4turtles

During a River Scheldt exhibition in 1925 several Antwerp citizens expressed a wish to see a permanent maritime museum in Antwerp. Their wish came true just two years later in 1927 when the Stedelijk Scheepvaartmuseum (Urban Maritime Museum) was set up in a wing of the Rijkshandelshogeschool (State Commercial College). In 1937 the collection was transferred to the Stedelijke Nijverheidsschool (Urban Technical School). When the Antwerp museums were reorganised in 1948, the Stedelijk Scheepvaartmuseum merged with the Oudheidkundige Musea (Museums of Antiquities) and the two maritime collections were combined.

The non-profit Marine Academie (1935) and the non-profit Vrienden van het Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum (Friends of the National Maritime Museum, 1939) were already working to put together a large maritime collection. While each made its own contribution to this goal, they also relied on the transfer of museum objects managed by the State.

Thanks to Antwerp City Council's commitment to the project and to the support of the Board of Maritime Affairs, the Marine Academie and the 'Friends', an agreement was signed with the State which led to the foundation of the Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum. That same year the Steen became home to the new museum and it was opened to the public.

Major alteration work was carried out between 1953 and 1958, providing storage and office facilities as well as more exhibition space and thereby enabling the building to better serve its purpose. The Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum was officially reopened in the presence of HRH Prince Albert on May 17th 1958.




Address: Steenplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen
Directions: next to the river, 2 minutes walk from the Market Square
Phone: + 32 (0)3-201 93 40

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  • Updated Aug 22, 2003
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