However, the Galerie Libertine on the Zavel has been exhibiting erotic art since 2008. The new museum will open just a stone’s throw away on Valentine’s Day 2012.
Collector and former doctor Guy Martens (66) has set up a foundation and will make his collection that he has built up over several decades open to the public.
The new museum will be housed in a building on the Sint-Annastraat, near to the prestigious Grote Zavel. The house has three floors, each with around 30 m² of exhibition space.
Work to get the museum ready is already underway, although it’s not yet certain that it will be ready for the planned grand opening on 14 February.
Guy Martens’ collection includes 150 pieces in ivory, 50 Japanese wood carvings, twenty paintings, bronze sculptures and around 100 other objects. Dr Martens believes that erotica and mythology go hand in hand.
"The word erotica comes from the Greek god Eros. The idea is to show what is sacred about love.”
One of the most remarkable pieces in the collection is a recently-acquired marble bust of the Greek Phrygian god Attis, who was both the son and the love of the god Cybele. The sculpture originates from Anatolia and was made in the 1st century BC.