Preserving the past and shaping the future

The Rubens Chapel in Antwerp's Saint James' church

The interior of the Rubens Chapel won the "Heritage Challenge" last year. Through this campaign, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) aims to restore at least ten heritage gems in the run-up to the celebration of 200 years of Belgium in 2030. Everyone is invited each year to vote for their favourite heritage treasure.  

The Rubens Chapel is the final resting place of globally celebrated artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). His burial chapel in Antwerp's Saint James' church houses a host of art treasures. An interdisciplinary team from KIK-IRPA will extensively examine and treat all of these works of art in the coming years.

Most notable is the painting "Madonna surrounded by Saints", which was painted around 1630 by Rubens himself. It was the artist's express wish that this painting would be given a place in his burial chapel after his death.

All photos are made available in BALaT, the online database of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), along with more than 800,000 other photos of Belgium's heritage.

Conservation and restoration

Inventory of Belgian Heritage

Art historical research

Art historical research