Focus on Mexico
In June two showcases dedicated to the Belgian military presence in Mexico (1864-1867) in the Historic Gallery were revamped. For reasons of sound conservation the original 19th century pictures, in a sorry state of conservation, were indeed replaced by reproductions. The fragile picture have been transferred to the documentation centre, where they will be safeguarded in good conditions. The showcases themselves have also been treated, as were the medals on display.
One of the showcases is largely taken up by studio portraits of the Belgian volunteers before their departure for Mexico; the other is completely dedicated to François Aubert (1829-1906). The French citizen stayed in Mexico between 1865 and 1867 and was the officious court photographer to Emperor Maximilian. He took shots of the emperor, his court and the members of the Belgian regiment supposed to protect Maximilian and his wife, the Belgian princess Charlotte.
The replacement of these unique pictures by reproductions is the first step in an ambitious project aiming at preserving all 19th century pictures in the Historic Gallery.