On Friday 29 September 2023, Jan Jambon, Belgian Minister of Culture, gave the Passchendaele Museum the green light for its policy and investment plans for 2024-2028. The financial support of the Flemish Government will allow the museum to implement several strategic and operational actions and prepare for the future.
Cultural Heritage Decree
As part of the Cultural Heritage Decree, collection managing institutions can apply for annual operating fundings from the Flemish Government. The review committee stated that the Passchendaele Museum had submitted a strongly substantiated dossier with a realistic financial estimate. As a result, it was decided to award the requested fundings for a total amount of € 271.000.
The entire team of the Passchendaele Museum is grateful for the support and confidence. “We are grateful to the Flemish Government for the funds it is granting the museum for the next five years. With this financial support, we want to continue along the path we have embarked on, but also work in depth in terms of digitalisation and scientific research. In the next five years, this will allow us to continue telling our visitors the story of the horror that took place in our municipality and region during the First World War, with a focus on 1917. What happened here, should never be forgotten. The fundings are a serious support to continue passing this on in a professional and scientific way to a widely interested national and international audience,” said Joachim Jonckheere, chairman of the Passchendaele Museum and alderman for the Municipality of Zonnebeke.
Six major pillars
During the 2024-2028 policy period, the Passchendaele Museum wants to maintain its supralocal regional classification and focus on no less than six major pillars: a new museum interpretation for a diverse public, a collection policy with respect for heritage care, innovative and diversified research, the transformation to a digital organisation, a target group-oriented public operation and a quality policy with attention for the cultural heritage landscape.
Diversity of perspectives, digitalisation, sustainability and collaborations form transversal themes in this regard. “The Passchendaele Museum will evolve with its time and environment, but will not change intrinsically as an institution. The mission ‘Experience. Reflect. Remember.‘ remains the common thread throughout the museum experience to bring the story of the Battle of Passchendaele,” said Debbie Manhaeve, policy coordinator for Tourism Zonnebeke & Passchendaele Museum.
New in 2024
Visitors will not have to wait long to see this plan in action. From 1 February 2024, an immersive room will open, with the support of the Province of West Flanders. This will be a total experience where young and old will be fully immersed in the story and landscape of 1917. In addition, in cooperation with Westtoer and Tourism Flanders, a new temporary exhibition “Echoes of War“ will be installed, which will remind visitors of the remembrance of the Great War and encourage them to further explore the various war sites in the surrounding landscape after their visit.