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2 Jul 2015

The Ghent Altarpiece Adventure


I think it's safe to say that The Big City Challenge had a smooth kick off today in Ghent


+Visit Gent​​ had 2 missions ready for me. First a small one to warm up and then a much bigger one. 

First I had to find good ol' Neptune who's looking over the fish market and guards the entrance to the tourist office at Veerleplein. I found this with the help from @SweetCharlie aka Micha on Twitter. 


There I acquired a city card that would be my magical key for the rest of my stay here. 

It came in handy already for my second mission which revolved completely around the world famous Ghent Altarpiece.

First I got an image of a contemporary art work from Kris Martin that has been inspired by the Altarpiece and dedicated to a famous art curator from Ghent. I had to find his name and that would lead me to a square named after him. 

Facebook came to the rescue. Sofie Wauters, Michael Vaes, Sebastiaan Van Wymeersch and Tina Demme I'm looking at you. Great teamwork and thank you for leading me to the 'Jan Hoet' square.


Ok. The second mission is tricky one. I have no clue! Who knows this artist from #Ghent? • #TheBigCityChallenge w Visit Gent • #MissionGhent #Travel #SocialTravel •
Posted by The Social Traveler on Thursday, July 2, 2015

I rented a bike with my city card and once on the square I received a package with a black and white version of the Alterpiece. 




To celebrate I decided to enjoy I nice Belgian beer in the sun. I'm in Belgium after all :-)




While sitting there I got a blueprint clue. It referred to the building where I could find panels of the Altarpiece
The blueprints matched with the +MSK GENT​​. Absolutely perfect since I was having my beer at their terrace :-)

I swiftly entered with my city card and had the honour to meet Bart Devolder who is part of the team that is doing some epic restauration work on the panels. 

A very cool dude! I snapped a pic of him working his magic. 



At that moment another part of the mission came in. 

This time it was about the stolen panel of the Ghent Altarpiece which hasn't been found up until today. Quite the mystery! Now I had to find a replica of the ransom letter that was sent to the bishop. It was somewhere in Ghent :-)

This was probably the hardest to get an answer to. Since the answer didn't come immediately I decided to go back to the center and ask for info at the Sint Baafs cathedral, the normal home of the Altarpiece. When I arrived I received the right answer from Sofie Verhalle on Twitter. 


The ransom letter was at +STAM - Stadsmuseum Gent​​ which ment that I had to turn around and cycle back :-)

Once there I made my way to the 'Just Judges' room and found a replica of the Altarpiece and the ransom letter. 



Mission accomplished! 

Below my favorite instagram snap of the day ;-)