The Treasure’s perpetuity assured
As the years passed, the “Treasure’s guardian angels », notably the Sisters of Notre Dame whose numbers had fallen in recent years, began to worry. How could they ensure the safety of such a precious and unique ensemble for which they had cared since the convention was drawn up by the last Prior of Oignies in 1818? How could they keep the promise they made to the Prior; notably, how could they keep the treasure in Namur without it being split up?
In 2010, the Sisters found a solution: they decided to pass the torch to the King Baudouin Foundation, which undertook by written agreement to protect the treasure, prevent any alienation, to keep it in Namur and to make it accessible to the general public in a permanent exhibition. The act of cession was ratified by the Provincial Parliament of Namur in the presence of Archduke Lorenz, Prince of Belgium, and Honorary President of the Heritage Fund. On 13 September 2010, the treasure was entrusted to the Archaeological Society of Namur to be exhibited at the Musée des Arts Anciens du Namurois. Thanks to support from the King Baudouin Foundation, a designated room and showcases have been created in the heart of the museum. In 2010, thirty-two of the treasure’s pieces were listed as exceptional movable cultural treasure.
Thanks to the Foundation, the Treasure of Oignies is now housed in a modern room in the Musée Provincial des Arts Anciens du Namurois.
The treasure is now definitively protected from being broken up and dispersed. Its transfer guarantees not only its preservation but also its being made accessible to everyone.