Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis (KMKG), BE

The KMKG foundation is a scientific research institute that functions under the Federal Belgian Science Policy. It has governmental responsibility over a number of museums with the task to define their overall philosophy and fundamental mission, namely: the preservation and management of the collections by further developing the central collection database, the improvement of the digital object descriptions by using standards, the service to public researchers by providing digital  information on the collections, a close co-operation between several scientific institutions on a national and international level by exchanging digital data.

The eventful history of the Museum begins formally in 1835, with the foundation of the "Museé d'Armes Anciennes, d'Armures d'Objets d'Art et de Numismatique", but the heart of the collection had been put together much earlier. The most remarkable objects had been kept in the Royal Arsenal - in particular, diplomatic gifts presented to the Dukes of Burgundy and the Habsburgs, curiosities and mementoes, including the so-called cradle of the Emperor Charles, or the mantle of Montezuma and the horse of Infanta Isabella. Upon its foundation in 1835, the Museum was installed in the Porte de Hal/ Hallepoort, but it became soon apparent that the space was inadequate. The construction of two pavilions in the Cinquantenaire Park made it possible in 1889 to move part of the collections, which were set up in the north wing of the Cinquantenaire. The move contributed to the achievement of Leopold II's conception of the Cinquantenaire Park, as a place of recreation, together with a cultural centre.

Over the years, the Museum's collections have grown steadily, thanks to important donations, sometimes of significant private collections, by generous patrons. This heritage has also been supplemented by finds from excavations in Belgium and abroad.

Though the wealth of the collections is famous throughout the scientific world and attested to by numerous publications, the Museum still needs to be much better known amongst the general public. This is why the museum is eager to develop a popular-scientific approach to the collections, which are open to everyone wishing to engage in the fascinating dialogue with archaeology and art history. For this reason regularly a number of exhibition rooms are now being adapted or re-organised.

The Cinquantenaire Museum is part of the Royal Museums for Art and History, together with the Porte de Hal/ Hallepoort, the Japanese Pagoda - the Chinese Pavilion - the Museum for Japanese Art and the Museum of Instruments. Entering the stately building, one begins a journey through time and space, a journey through the history of civilisations and mankind. The collections on display here bear witness to virtually all the artistic disciplines of the five continents. They are divided into four large ensembles: Antiquity, National Archaeology, the Non-European civilisations and European Arts and crafts. In total some 650 thousand objects are spread over 60 thousand square metres of exhibition galleries and in the reserves.

Role in the Partage Plus project: KMKG is the leader of Work Package 1 (Digitisation) and is digitising content.