The Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur
The chances of the community of Oignies being reconstituted being minimal, the old prior ended up entrusting the treasure to the convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur in 1818. Only the phylactery of Marie of Oignies was separated from the main body of the treasure: Dom Grégoire donated it to the Church of Saint Nicholas in Nivelles. The treasure was fervently cared for by the Sisters of Notre Dame. It soon became apparent how valuable the treasure was from both a historic and artistic point of view. As early as 1864, it left Namur for a temporary exhibition in Mechelen and soon renowned historians and archaeologists began to study the treasure and its history. With the approach of the Second World War, the treasure was hidden once more, thus escaping the destruction of the Sisters’ convent in May, 1940. After a stay at the Diocesan Museum of Namur, the Treasure of Oignies was then exhibited in a specially designated room at the new Convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
From the second half of the 19th century, the treasure became famous. It was exhibited at numerous events including, as shown here, in Charleroi in 1911.
Researchers and visitors could see the treasure in a specially fitted out room in the heart of the Convent of the Sisters of Note Dame, up to the time it was moved in 2010.