The Academia Belgica hosts researchers and artists and promotes scientific and cultural relations between Italian and Belgium.
Founded in 1939, the Belgian Academy is based in a modernist building in the middle of Valle Giulia and it is nestled between other foreign academies such as the Egyptian Academy and the Swedish Institute, overlooking the British School at Rome from its windows. Similarly to these institutions, the academy’s mission is to support research and encourage intercultural exchanges between Belgium and Italy.
The Belgian Academy hosts researchers from Belgium, grants fellowships, and organizes summer and winter schools for Belgian and international students alike. The academy, not too far from the peaceful Villa Borghese’s gardens, offers thus a unique space for inspiration, collaboration and promotion in the center of Rome where scholars, artists and students can take the time to think, search, create and discover.
Art Deco and Modernism
As soon as you enter the building through the courtyard, you might think you have stepped into a Wes Anderson’s movie set. The exotic elegance and the picture-perfect symmetry of the rooms contrast with the imposing Rationalist style of the building.
Architects Gino Cipriani and Jean Hendrickx-Van den Bosch designed this vast construction, taking care of every single detail of the project, choosing the finest green and black marbles, selecting tables, decorations and lamps.
While the furniture dates from the 1930’s, the top of the stairway is decorated with a Flemish drapery which is a copy of the tapestry made for Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este.
As royal weddings used to unite entire peoples and countries in the past centuries, the Princess Marie-José Foundation is a symbol of love for the arts.
In 1930, Princess Marie-José of Belgium married Prince Humbert of Savoy at the Quirinale Palace and a national fundraising campaign – as we would call it nowadays– was launched to arrange for a present for the newlyweds.
It was the Princess who wishes to dedicate part of the funds to the creation of a Foundation to allow Belgian artists to reside and study in Rome. At the same time, the project of the academy came to light.
The initial plans continue to inspire the work of the academy. Still today, the Academia hosts scholars passionate about history, architecture, literature, archaelogy and arts, and it organizes monthly events on these topics. The current exhibitions is presented by Lise Duclaux and the upcoming exhibition will show work by Gauthier Oushoorn.
A well supplied library to discover more about Italy and Belgium
The academy’s library gathers more than 80.000 volumes dedicated to history, archaeology, history of religions, and science. University students can request access upon booking. Besides several photographic and correspondence archives, the library includes valuable books fund such as the 70 Latin essays by the eminent scholar Franz Cumont.
Via Omero 8
Mon – Fri 9 am – 6 pm
Mon – Fri 9 am – 1 pm, 2 pm – 5 pm