Passengers on the Brussels Airlines flight to Madrid were pampered this morning with a breakfast from the renowned Belgian chef Olly Ceulenaere. Afterwards they received a Van Eyck pillow, specially designed for the occasion, from the hands of the Flemish Minister of Tourism Zuhal Demir and the Ghent Alderman of Culture Sami Souguir. Once aboard Brussels Airlines’ Flemish Masters aircraft ‘Bruegel’ they also received a special Van Eyck creation in chocolate by the Ghent chocolatier Nicolas Vanaise of Yuzu.
"After Rubens in 2018 and Bruegel in 2019, this year we are fully committed to let the Van Eyck brothers bring cultural added value seekers from all over the world to Flanders. Their masterpieces may hang in some of the most renowned museums in the world, but only in Flanders can you really come and experience how they lived and worked". Says Flemish Minister of Tourism Zuhal Demir.
The travel pillow depicts 'the singing angels' from the famous Van Eyck painting the ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’, together with a reference to the cultural touristic theme year that will take place in Ghent in 2020 under the title 'OMG, Van Eyck was here'. Ghent pays homage to Jan Van Eyck for a year with a titillating programme in the atmosphere of Van Eyck and his masterpiece, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. A not-to-be-missed feast for all Belgian and foreign visitors that will rock the city for a year. With "Van Eyck. An optical revolution" (01.02.20-30.04.20 at the MSK Ghent), the largest Van Eyck exhibition ever, the year is set in motion with an extraordinary experience.
"This year Ghent will be a real Van Eyck city," says Ghent Alderman for culture Sami Souguir. "From 1 February, everyone can enjoy a programme full of activities and events: visual arts, theatre, dance, design, fashion, music, gastronomy and shopping in the atmosphere of Van Eyck and his masterpiece. We will show how the legacy of one of the world's most virtuoso artists still flows through the veins of our city and its inhabitants after 6 centuries. The Van Eyck year also shows that we are betting on an attractive Ghent for all the people of Ghent as well as for tourists. With the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb as the crown jewel and a wide range of activities, we are playing out Ghent's unique assets. This is the tourism policy of the future.
A fun photo competition is linked to the cushion that Brussels Airlines passengers receive. The aim is for passengers to take a creative photo with the pillow at their destination and thus have a chance of a short holiday in Ghent as part of the Van Eyck year. A total of 3,500 Brussels Airlines passengers to 30 European and North American destinations will be offered such a striking Van Eyck cushion during this week.
The reason for this morning's action was the festive start of the Van Eyck year 2020. Visit Ghent, Cultuur Gent, MSK Gent, VISITFLANDERS, Brussels Airport and Brussels Airlines will join forces in the coming year for numerous projects and promotional activities around Van Eyck. For example, there are theme flights from various European destinations and actions for loyal Brussels Airlines customers.
The various Van Eyck exhibitions are also part of Brussels Airlines' Hi Belgium Pass, a travel package that offers travellers unlimited access to the SNCB network as well as access to 50 Belgian city, experience or cultural activities.
"As the national airline of Belgium, we want to be an ambassador for our country and its impressive cultural heritage," says Christian Dumortier, Head of strategic partnerships of Brussels Airlines. "With the Hi Belgium Pass, Brussels Airlines lets 3,000 passengers discover the many riches of Belgium every year during a weekend, with the Belgian cities of art as one of the highlights. By including the exhibitions of the Van Eyck year in our Hi Belgium Pass, we want to promote the Flemish Masters - and Belgian art in general - throughout Europe and even beyond".
"Brussels Airport considers it important to put Belgian artists, regional products or athletes in the spotlight and to give passengers the opportunity to discover or rediscover them", explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company. "Interactive zones were developed in 2018 in pier A and B, in order to highlight the tourist assets of Flanders. As in the Bruegel year 2019, we are pleased to welcome the new initiative of Tourism Flanders to introduce our passengers to the work of Van Eyck".
More information about the Van Eyck theme year in Ghent via www.vaneyckwashere.be.