Rail boss: “Delvaux paintings don’t belong in my office”

Four paintings by the 20th century artist Paul Delvaux have been moved from the office of CEO of the Belgian rail company NMBS Sophie Dutordoir to the national rail museum Train World. Ms Dutordoir says that the paintings don’t belong in her office and should be put on public display for all to enjoy. 

Speaking on VRT Radio 2 Flemish Brabant, Ms Dutordoir said “When I arrived at NMBS on 7 March 2017 I was surprised that that four authentic Delvaux paintings were hanging on the walls of my office. I felt that they didn’t belong there and should be put on public display”.   

Meanwhile, the paintings have been moved to the Train World Museum in the Brussels Municipality of Schaarbeek. NMBS had the paintings restored by experts from the Royal Art Heritage Institute. From today (Wednesday 4 September) the paintings will be on display at Train World.   

Ms Dutordoir believes that she has done the right thing by making the painting available to the general public.

"As long as I am CEO at NMBS, the painting will remain at Train World. In any case I don’t believe that any CEO should have the privilege of having such works hanging in her or his office. This is heritage that belongs to the whole community in Belgium”. 

Exhibition at Train World

The four paintings date from 1963 and were painted especially for NMBS. Two paintings entitled ‘Gare la nuit’ pay tribute to the steam trains of the past. The two other paintings, entitled ‘Gare de jour’ are dedicated to electrically-powered trains that were modern in the 1960’s.          

The 4 paintings will form part of an exhibition about the life and work of Paul Delvaux that will open at Train World on 22 October. The exhibition will run until 15 March 2020.