Fire Breaks Out in Bozar, Potentially Shutting Down Concert Hall For Long Haul

By Dejan Vukosavljevic

A fire has broken out on the roof of the building of the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, known as Bozar on Jan. 18.

Smoke was seen at the palace in the early afternoon, which prompted the immediate arrival of the fire services.

“We were called in by people who saw a lot of smoke coming from the roof of the building,” said Walter Derieuw, spokesperson of the Brussels’ fire brigade.

During the afternoon and evening, the fire brigade deployed a total of 60 firefighters to fight the fire, which was eventually extinguished. Two firefighters were injured.

According to the Director of Bozar Paul Dujardin, no works of art were damaged in the fire. Special services will take a full inventory of the damage after closer inspection of the fire scene, including the possible damage of the Henry Le Boeuf Hall, where a special exhibition with original scores by Ludwig van Beethoven had also been taking place at the same time.

Paul Dujardin, Director of Bozar, said on Jan. 19 that the damage by the pumped water and the rain was extensive. “I think the damage from the water is greater than the damage from the fire,” added Dujardin.

Composer and organist Bernard Foccroulle stated on his Facebook account that, according to his information, the damage could be considerable. “The Great Hall could be closed for months, maybe even years,” added Foccroulle.

Due to the fire incident, Bozar and all of its exhibitions will be closed until Jan. 25.