#MuseumWeek 2017: an interview with Dominique Van Hove from BNP Paribas Fortis’s Art & History department

BNP Paribas Fortis joined BNP Paribas Group in 2009, but the bank is two centuries old and holds a remarkable amount of historic cultural heritage. For #MuseumWeek 2017, head of the Art & History team Dominique Van Hove spoke with us about the bank’s collections and efforts to promote them.

 

#1 – What sort of things do you do in your role as Art & History manager at BNP Paribas Fortis?

 

Dominique Van Hove - © Benjamin Brolet

Dominique Van Hove – © Benjamin Brolet

DVH: BNP Paribas Fortis is a major player in Belgium’s financial, economic and social world. The bank has kept a trace of all its activities and initiatives, in order to transparently share its heritage with the community and contribute to historical research. The bank’s artistic wealth demonstrates the company’s rich history. This vision is rooted in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, particularly with regard to its civil service activity.
Together with my team, we are primarily concerned with assisting with historical research and consultation of archives. Our mission comprises two parts: On the one hand, it involves developing projects with CSR, the BNP Paribas Fortis Foundation, Group Archives & History and other departments, in order to share this cultural heritage with the widest audience possible. On the other, we use art and history as federating value tools that the bank can showcase.

 

 

 

 #2- Do your collections include rare and precious artworks?

 

DVH: Apart from the documents of different banking entities, our cultural and historical heritage includes collections of old machines, advertisements, bank notes and so on.

In each of these collections, there are treasures such as:•Bank notes issued by the Banque Sino-Belge in China

• Bank notes issued by the Banque Sino-Belge in China
• A bearer share from the Banque d’Outremer, the drawings of which were done by the renowned Belgian artist Constant Montald in the early 20th century
• A document from Banque Legrelle, the archives of which figure among the oldest conserved by our Bank (administrative circular dating back to 1787)
• A film directed by the Belgian cinematographer Jaco Van Dormael.

 

$10 note issued in 1905 by the Banque Sino-belge — A Société Générale subsidiary in Belgium - BNP Paribas Fortis Historical Archives

$10 note issued in 1905 by the Banque Sino-belge — A Société Générale subsidiary in Belgium – BNP Paribas Fortis Historical Archives

Share from Banque d’Outremer drawn in 1919 by Constant Montald — BNP Paribas Fortis Historical archives - BNP Paribas Fortis Historical Archives

Share from Banque d’Outremer drawn in 1919 by Constant Montald — BNP Paribas Fortis Historical archives – BNP Paribas Fortis Historical Archives

Letter from Philadelphia received by the Anvers-based Banque Legrelle in 1787 (added to the Group in the 1960s) — BNP Paribas Fortis Historical archivesFortis

Letter from Philadelphia received by the Anvers-based Banque Legrelle in 1787 (added to the Group in the 1960s) — BNP Paribas Fortis Historical archives

 

 

 

#3- What specific actions are you developing to share BNP Paribas Fortis’s cultural and historical heritage with the general public?

 

 

DVH: We’ve started a chapter dedicated to Art & History on the BNP Paribas Fortis website. This lets us upload:

  • • Completed inventories
    • Brochures written on architectural heritage or a historical theme
    • Exhibitions held
    An interactive timeline

In 2008, the bank decided to open a Historical centre in Brussels, where researchers, students and bank employees can consult the archives and profit from the experience of René Brion and Jean-Louis Moreau, two archivist-historians from the “Association pour la valorisation des archives d’entreprise” (Association for the promotion of company archives).

Inspired by the notion that culture should be accessible to all, tours of our historical buildings at 20 rue Royal are offered for disadvantaged youth, in collaboration with the BNP Paribas Fortis Foundation. This is always an experience rich in emotion and exchanges.

 

Other guided visits are also offered on various occasions for clients, non-clients or associations:

  • Cultural heritage days in Brussels
  • The UCL Sales Engineer Student Alumni Association
  •  Students from the Haute Ecole Hénallux enrolled in an archivist programme

 

Visit to the historical building located at 20 rue Royale in Brussels during European Heritage Days

Visit to the historical building located at 20 rue Royale in Brussels during European Heritage Days

 

Artwork loans, document posters or bank notes to national or international exhibitions:

  • “Notre Congo, Onze Kongo” at the BELvue Museum in Brussels
  • Chine-Belgique, 120 ans d’histoire partagée”, Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB.

 

Upon request from several departments, the following exhibition themes have been added:

 


 

 Also read the interview #AskAnArchivist16 with Roger Nougaret, Head of the Archives & History department at BNP Paribas

 


Close

Contact us / Send us a document

The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site www.histoire.bnpparibas.
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.

This website has a cultural and historical purpose; it is not intended to deal with trade and banking relationship issues which will not be processed.
If you have a document, a photo, a story about BNP Paribas history and want to share it, please do not hesitate to share it there.
In transmitting this document, you certify to own it and to hold the property rights needed for their use. You authorize BNP Paribas to use it on the website Source of History.
Thank you for indicate the origin of the documents and give us any information you consider relevant to its understanding.

Close

Suscribe to Well of History's newsletter

The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site www.histoire.bnpparibas.
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.

Close

Files download

I undertake to make private use of the contents downloaded from the website

OK
Close

You have added an item to your selection.

You can find your saved contents in the “My space” section, which can be accessed at the top right of any page of the website.

My space English A+ A-

To find this content on your next visit, you need to create an account from this section, by clicking on:

Fermer Welcome to

Well of History

Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
Chairman
of BNP Paribas