Frank Van Laecke and Gert Voorjans are responsible for the narrative and the design of the museum. “A visit to the museum will be an experience. People who leave will have been educated on the crucial role of Antwerp in the diamond trade and will hopefully revisit us in the future”, says interior designer Gert Voortjans. “DIVA requires a certain silence and serenity and that is why I have opted for a cosy setting. By getting rid of cold showcases and instead introducing couches and sofas, we have created a setting where people will want to return to”, the designer anticipates.
Director Frank Van Laecke has left his mark on several parts of the DIVA. He prioritises “relaxation”. “You can experience the museum in the way you choose. What you see, you can experience in two ways: one is highly substantive – with a detailed description of every object, the other with a hint of fiction – with a tale of what could have been.”
On the 24st of January, a tip of the veil was lifted. Press and public could wander around the museum under construction with the help of virtual reality glasses. The first room after the reception area – the Rooms of Wonders – will contain several trends. The eye-catcher will be the silver owl of Antwerp. The DIVA won’t be your typical old-fashioned with objects behind glass, but instead aims to offer a modern and dynamic experience, with “interaction” as a keyword. One of the main attractions is a life-size vault. Visitors can admire the museum’s most precious treasures there. Apart from the vault, other themes, such as trade, consumption and craftsmanship, are to be explored as well. Every theme will be explained and presented through staging, sound effects, multimedia techniques and interactive elements.
“Thanks to the DIVA, there will again be an up to par attraction regarding diamonds and jewels in Antwerp, aimed at tourist and citizens alike. The museum will immerse you in luxe and in the craftsmanship of our cutters and designers throughout the ages”, says Luk Lemmens (N-VA), provincial deputy of Culture.
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