Sir Peter Paul Rubens’s castle to be opened to the public

The Flemish tourist board Toerisme Vlaanderen has snapped up the Rubens Castle in Elewijt.  The castle that was once the home of the famous baroque master is set to become a gem devoted to the memory of the 17th century artist and diplomat.

The Flemish government OKed the acquisition in May and now the purchase is complete Flemish tourism minister Ben Weyts (Flemish nationalist) is on the look-out for a private partner who will be involved in the restoration and running of the castle that will soon be open to the general public.

The purchase forms part of a special Flemish government drive to put Flemish masters in the spotlight.  So far 26 million euros has been invested in 16 projects.

Mr Weyts told newsmen: “I think we should be even prouder of our Flemish masters. We couldn’t allow the opportunity to purchase this estate and open it to the general public to pass by!  It would have been a dreadful sin if this castle and its history had been lost.  Moreover, it’s a perfect location for a tourist attraction.”

Sir Peter Paul Rubens purchased the castle in 1635 and lived here with his wife until his death in 1640.  It is here that the master painted many important landscapes.