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‘Best thing about our job? Being a courier!’


Museum staff introduce themselves. A glimpse of what’s happening behind the scenes as we prepare for the opening of the new museum.

This interview was first published in the spring issue of our museum magazine ZAAL Z.

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Portret Fleur van Paassen en Karen Daghelet
Photo: Jacques Sonck

  • Who are you? Fleur van Paassen and Karen Daghelet
  • What’s your job? Registrars
  • How long have you been at the museum? Fleur nine years, Karen eight years

What do you do?

‘We’re responsible for the registration and practical administration of all the loans. While the museum is closed, that largely means outgoing loans, so part of the collection at least can still be seen by the public.’


Karen: ‘I also provide administrative support for the museum redevelopment: updating plans and occasionally creating 3D simulations to visualize parts of the permanent display or future exhibitions.’


Fleur: ‘I help out one day a week at the conservation studio too, where they’re all hard at work right now on the conservation plan. We can then present all the works to the best possible effect when we reopen.’

What’s the best thing about your job?

[In chorus]: ‘Being a courier! Whenever an exhibition is in transit, being installed or taken down, a courier has to be there to make sure our works are handled correctly. It’s an aspect of our job that brings us into direct contact with the collection. Not only does it take you to some great places, it’s also very interesting and instructive to see how they do things at other museums.’

Are there any aspects of the job you’re less keen on?

Karen: ‘I don’t enjoy writing letters so much. Fortunately, I can use templates to make that part of my job a bit easier.’


Fleur: ‘Now and again I have to spend a whole day at my desk taking care of the admin side. I need variety, so I’m happy that there’s something different every week.’

What has been the highlight so far of your career at the museum?

Karen: ‘When I first became a registrar, I was given the chance to accompany a loan to Japan, which was a fascinating experience.’


Fleur: ‘Oh, too many to name! But I especially like the contact with wonderful colleagues inside and outside the museum.’

What’s your favourite work of art?

‘The King Baudouin Foundation recently bought Oscar Jespers’ Perlefin – a beautiful woman’s head in white marble – for the KMSKA. It will be part of our permanent presentation when the museum reopens.’

Are you glad to work in a museum?

‘Yes, it’s great to work with people who care about the museum and the collection. All of us love doing our jobs, and feel that it’s a privilege to work for the KMSKA. We can’t wait for the museum to open again. After all these years, we miss the feeling of working for an institution that’s open to the public. Plus we get tired of constantly having to explain exactly what it is we do while the museum is closed [laughs].’


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