In 1975, the architect Jean Delhaye, who was first a student then a collaborator of Victor Horta, brought the attention of the public authorities on the former Waucquez shops, which became forgotten masterpieces. Thanks to his involvement, the building was listed as a historic monument. Only remained the question of a respectful use of its architecture and… where to find the funds for the renovation! In 1983, at the instigation of some urban planning (Jean Breydel) and comic books (Guy Dessicy) enthusiasts, the Belgian minister of public works bought the building with the objective of creating the first Belgian center of the comic book. That centre opened on October 6th 1989.

More than twenty years has gone by since the opening of the Belgian Centre of the Cominc Book, on October 6th 1989. Twenty years in the service of the comic books and the Art Nouveau. Twenty years of relationship between the comic books producers’ universe and their public. Promotional or conversation tool, producer or home of exhibitions, documentation centre, cultural ambassador… The Belgian Centre of the Comic Book has become an important museum with an international vocation and one of the most famous touristic attractions of Belgium.

Victor Horta (1861-1947)

The son of a Genth shoemaker, Victor Horta loved music but it didn’t prevent him from being expelled from the conservatoire for indiscipline at the age of twelve. Enrolled at the Academy of Ghent, in architecture, he won his first medal when he was fifteen years old. Two years later, he moved to Paris where he lived for more than a year in the workshop of the painter and decorator Jules Dubuysson. Back home, he became the student of the architect Balat (The Royal Greenhouses in Laeken), while continuously winning prizes.

In 1885, he built his first houses. But it’s with the Maison Tassel in 1893 that the profound originality of Horta’s work became noticed: he then imagines a completely new decorative language that will be used throughout all Europe until the dawn of the Great War.