Treasures from Namur exhibited in London and New York


Items of the Treasure of Oignies have left their homeland in Namur to be displayed temporarily in world-class museums in New York and London.

Among these items are the reliquary of the True Cross, along with the crosier and one of the two ecclesiastical rings of Jacques de Vitry, religious dignitary and benefactor. They will be on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum until January 2017. The Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven exhibition demonstrates the key role that the Holy City played in shaping the art of the period from 1000 to 1400. In those years, Jerusalem could be seen as home to numerous cultures, denominations, and languages.

The mitre worn by Jacques de Vitry – an embroidery in gold and silver threads – will be at the Victoria and Albert Museum until February 2017. The Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery exhibition – better known as Opus Anglicanum – brings together major works of English Medieval embroidery. The mitre is a remarkable example of this sewing craftsmanship – an art that is still present today. Nevertheless, in order to protect it, it is only exhibited on rare occasions at the TreM.a, the Provincial Museum of Ancient Arts of Namur. The London exhibition is therefore a unique occasion to marvel at this magnificent embroidery.

The items on display are part of the Treasure of Oignies and were produced in the workshop of the Priory of Oignies. Overflowing with history and aesthetic value, they are a testament to the unique role Jacques de Vitry played in the thirteenth century. He is also at the heart of the Cromioss science project, an innovative scientific study. The Treasure, displayed at the TreM.a, brings together an exceptional and extensive collection of items of extraordinary quality.

Lending these renowned items is a remarkable step for research and recognition on the international stage. The Treasure of Oignies has been part of the Seven Wonders of Belgium since 1978, and was declared a Treasure of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation in 2010.