Summer is in full swing. We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are doing well.
We would have loved to celebrate our Flanders Day with you in person but given the situation related to COVID 19, we thought it may be still a bit too early to put on a big party.

In anticipation of the big day, we have been busy organising a few Flemish treats for you.

In an interview with Professor Peter Piot, you can read about the life and health science ecosystems in Flanders, one the most important in Europe.

We invite you to have a first look at the exciting Rubens exhibition in the Wallace Collection, and the mesmerizing performance of a composition by Arvo Pärt, inspired by the world-famous "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck .

We are also giving you some ideas for things to do in Flanders in 2021 and we hope to welcome you again in Flanders and Brussels - hopefully soon!

Finally, after a well-deserved summer break, we invite you to attend the Greenwich+ Docklands International Festival (27 August - 11 September) as we are working with them to bring 4 great shows to London, showing world-leading & innovative performing arts from Flanders. 

For this and more, please scroll down.

Happy Flanders Day!
Flanders Day is the celebratory day of the Flemish Community of Belgium (in Dutch: Feestdag van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap).

On this day, the Flemish Community in Belgium celebrates the anniversary of the “Guldensporenslag” (Battle of the Golden Spurs, 1302).

Flanders Day is usually celebrated on 11 July with festivities throughout Flanders and Brussels and an official reception hosted at the Brussels Town Hall.
Interview with Dr. Peter Piot 
Professor Baron Peter Piot MD PhD KCMG is the Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Handa Professor of Global Health. He is Special Advisor on COVID-19 to the President of the European Commission, and is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. He was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations (1995-2008).

A clinician and microbiologist by training, he co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976, and led pioneering research on HIV/AIDS, women’s health and infectious diseases in Africa. He has held positions at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp; the University of Nairobi; the University of Washington, Seattle; Imperial College London, the College de France, Paris, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of the US National Academy of Medicine, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native Belgium, and the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.

He is the Chair of the King Baudouin Foundation USA, Vice-Chair of the Global Health Innovation Technology Fund, Tokyo, a member of the Advisory Board of the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, and past President of the International AIDS Society.

In 1995 he was made a Baron in Belgium, and in 2016 he received an honorary knighthood (KCMG) in the UK. Piot has received numerous scientific and civic awards, including the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health , the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research , and the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, and was named a 2014 TIME Person of the Year (The Ebola Fighters). He has published over 600 scientific articles and 17 books, including No Time to Lose, available in 6 languages.
Dr. peter piot

Life Sciences & Health in Flanders

Pushing the boundaries of life sciences & health since the year 1514

Since the days of Andreas Vesalius, the founder of modern human anatomy, Flanders has been on the forefront of innovation in life sciences & health. To this day, the spirit of this 16th-century visionary lives on in the region.

Meet Team Vesalius. These contemporary scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs from Flanders continue to push boundaries.
Flanders offers the ideal mix of medtech, biotech, pharma and healthcare, right in the heart of Europe. From start-ups to established players and multinationals: the entire value chain – from R&D and education to validation and commercialization – is represented in the region.

Discover Flanders’ Life Sciences & Health industry virtually with Flanders360.
Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes 

If you are in London over the summer, make sure you visit the Wallace Collection for the exhibition ''Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes''.

For the first time in over two hundred years, Peter Paul Rubens’s (1577-1640) two great masterpieces of landscape painting, 'The Rainbow Landscape' (The Wallace Collection) and 'A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning' (The National Gallery) are reunited as part of an exhibition which runs from 3 June to 15 August 2021.

Both paintings were originally part of Rubens’s own collection but were separated when they were brought to London in 1803.
‘The Rainbow Landscape’ went to the Wallace Collection, and ‘A View of het Steen in the Early Morning’ joined the National Gallery’s collection.

Painted as a companion pair, these sweeping panoramic works show Rubens’s manor house and estate, Het Steen, at Elewijt (between Brussels and Antwerp) as it was in about 1636.

Both paintings celebrate the fertile countryside and pay homage to the great Flemish tradition of landscape painting. The visitor to this exhibition will have a unique opportunity to experience these great paintings together and on their own, and to be immersed in their wealth of detail and ambitious scale.

The exhibition is in partnership with VISITFLANDERS.
The Wallace Collection
Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Until 15 August
Video: Rubens at The Wallace Collection
Director of the Wallace Collection, Dr Xavier Bray and Exhibition Curator, Lucy Davis, share their insights into one of the Collection's most exciting shows of 2021, Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes.
Arvo Pärt, Für Jan Van Eyck
The world premiere of Arvo Pärt’s composition ''Für Jan van Eyck'' took place on 22 September 2020 in Ghent.

The composition was inspired by the altarpiece 'The Adoration of a Mystic Lamb' by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, located in St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent. After a long restoration, the centrepiece of the altar can now be visited by the public.

The piece Für Jan van Eyck was written for mixed choir and organ, and it is based on the music of Agnus Dei, the last section of Pärt's Berliner Messe (1990).

The work was performed by Collegium Vocale Gent, under the baton of world-famous Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe.
Things to do when you visit Flanders in 2021!

Big Bang! City Festival


Did you know that Leuven is the birthplace of the Big Bang Theory? In 1931, Professor Georges Lemaître introduced his revolutionary theory to his peers at the University of Leuven.

And it rocked the world of science to its core. It’s no small wonder then that Leuven has made the Big Bang the theme of its sensational city festival that is shaking the city of Leuven from 15 October 2021 until 30 January 2022.

Website Big Bang! Festival Leuven

Fashion 2.021 Antwerp – Fashion/Conscious


A stylish reopening of the MoMu Fashion Museum in Antwerp in September this year following an extensive refurbishment.

Starting from the opening weekend on 4th and 5th September 2021, until January 2022, MoMu will offer a line-up of fascinating exhibitions, open-air projects, city walks and activities.

Website MoMu Fashion Museum
New Mystic Lamb Visitor Experience


Since its completion in 1432, millions of visitors have travelled to Ghent to admire ''The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb'', also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert Van Eyck. A restoration was completed in 2020 and in May, the Mystic Lamb was returned to Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, the very place it was created for.

Not only have the panels of the Ghent Altarpiece been restored, but a new visitor centre now welcomes more visitors in better conditions. The experience is taken to a whole new level using modern technology and showcasing the authentic art treasures held within the Cathedral in all their glory.

Website “The Ghent Altarpiece”. The Visitors’ Centre 
Raveel 100!


Roger Raveel is regarded as one of the most important Belgian painters of the second half of the 20th century. His exceptional visual language, balancing between figuration and abstraction, often inspired by his immediate surroundings, set him radically apart from his contemporaries.

Raveel was born on July 15, 1921 in Machelen-aan-de-Leie, the village where he continued to work and live until his death in 2013. On the occasion of this anniversary, the Roger Raveel Museum, together with many cultural partners and friends, organizes various exhibitions and activities.

Website Roger Raveel Museum

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF)
27 August - 11 September 2021

Focus on Flanders is the result of our two-year partnership with Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, designed to inspire cross-cultural working between the culturally vibrant and diverse destinations of Flanders and London.

We are presenting 4 amazing shows! Find out more on the GDIF festival website!

Automata Carrousel on 28 August
League and Legend on 29 and 30 August
Blue Remembered Hills on 7 - 11 September
Balsam on 7 - 11 September
Jan Jambon, minister-president of Flanders, on the Focus on Flanders:

 ‘I strongly support the partnership with Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, one of the UK’s leading outdoor arts producing organizations. Flanders is known for its outstanding and innovative performing arts. This year, we are more than happy to showcase some of this talent in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and invite you to enjoy work of De Roovers, Laika, Geert Hautekiet, and 15feet6. This partnership is perhaps even more precious this year, because in times of crisis, culture brings hope. Covid-19 has reaffirmed the importance of culture and our basic need to engage with it.’
We wish you a wonderful summer break and look forward to seeing you again! 
May Persoons

''Flanders and the UK are strongly interconnected.
Together with all the colleagues at Flanders House, I look forward to finally meeting again in person!''
Andrew Daines

“These two amazing landscape paintings by Rubens haven’t been together for over 200 years…what a great metaphor for bringing us back together!”
Dirk Verlee

''To see the UK standing on the third place in the ranking of top foreign investors in Flanders in 2020 confirms the excellent cooperation and economic relations between Flanders and the UK.''
Meet Flanders, Where Tradition Meets Innovation

What comes to mind when you think of Flanders? It could be the region's strong traditions, dedicated people and deep-rooted love for life. However, Flanders is also known for the strength of its R&D ecosystem, which offers the talent, knowhow, network and incentives to boost the innovation efforts of businesses in a wide range of industries.

Invest in Flanders website
Experience our Flemish Masters
For ages Flanders has been the home to the Old Masters: Rubens, Bruegel, Van Eyck and many more. Together they make Flanders state of the art. Today Flanders is still the place where new ideas are born against a historical backdrop. Are you ready to stir your senses?

 Flanders is International

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