Paul & Cie

26 April 2009 - 16 August 2009

This year’s theme of Erfgoeddag is friendship. This was the inspiration for the Castle of Gaasbeek to develop the exhibition Paul & Cie. Oriental traces in Gaasbeek, centered on Paul Arconati (1754-1821).

He was one of the most eccentric inhabitants of the castle, who had a legendary idolatry of Napoleon and profound love for the Near and Middle East.

The castle is decorated with splendid pieces of art, for example the magnificent astronomic clock that marquis Paul had made for the Turkish Sultan Selim III, Canova’s bust of Napoleon, and several paintings by famous orientalists.

The castle’s kitchen has the spicy scent of the soukh, and here and there Oriental sounds and images appear (among others Mozart, a contemporary of the marquis, who is of course present with his Entführung aus dem Serail).


  • Campaign image, picture Luc Van Muylem -
  • Oriental table in the kitchen of Gaasbeek Castle, picture Luc Van Muylem -
  • Zacharie Raingo, Astronomical clock (astrolabium), around 1805-1810, Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels