Curators : Tempora
Co-Producers : Musée de l'Europe, Bruxelles
Tempora SA is a Belgian specialist in the design and production of exhibitions and popularising ex- hibition circuits. It was created in 1998 by Benoît Remiche and the « Groupe De Boeck » (publishers). Situated in Brussels, Tempora employs 20 people and has opened an office in Madrid. Tempora has produced several museums and permanent exhibi- tion premises, as well as several major temporary exhibitions.
• Memorial Facility and Walloon Museum of Indus- try at Bois du Cazier, Marcinelle, and exhibition on the 50th anniversary of the Marcinelle disaster.
• Communication Facility at the Parentville Science Centre.
• Biotechnology Facility at the Parentville Science Centre.
• Spirit of Europe Centre in Brussels.
•Water House in Verviers.
• Archaeology Forum of the Place Saint-Lambert in Liège.
• Exhibition in the Heysel Stadium, Brussels.
• The two prelude exhibitions of the Museum of Europe : Beautiful Europe (Brussels, Autumn 2001 – Spring 2002), and God(s), a User’s Guide (Brus- sels, October 2006-May 2007). .
• Einstein, Another Look
(Brussels, December 2005 – April 2006).
• It’s Our History !, inaugural exhibition of the Mu- seum of Europe in Brussels, intended to become a permanent exhibition (October 2007 – May 2008).
Tempora has also, together with Franco Dragone, won the stage design contract for the Waterloo Me- morial (opening in 2010).
For more information go to www.tempora.be
The Museum of Europe is a project that was launched eight years ago by a group of historians and cultural promoters from the European civil society. It is dedicated to helping Europeans discover the roots of their common civilisation. The Museum of Europe is a Belgian non-profit association (ASBL) with :
• a Pan-European board of trustees composed of intellectuals and scholars,
• an international board of museum curators,
• a scholarly committee composed of a dozen historians,
• a financial committee.
The association has moreover established close ties with other institutions by creating the European Museum Network.
The Museum of Europe is supported by the Bel- gian public authorities and by some twenty private “founding members.” The European institutions pro- vide support for specific projects.
While waiting for its major inaugural exhibition, It’s Our History! the Museum of Europe has con- ducted :
• the general design of the cultural and scholarly project (permanent exhibition, temporary and itinerant exhibitions, programme of activities for the public).
• three international colloquia : World Europe, The Borders of Europe, and Europe : Religion(s) and Modernity.
• two prelude exhibitions :
Beautiful Europe (October 2001 – March 2002) and God(s), a User’s Guide.
The Museum of Europe concentrates on producing exhibitions and on having them travel in Europe.
God(s), a User’s Guide is an exhibition of the Museum of Europe. Designed by an international committee of scholars (ethnologists, historians, philosophers), this exhibition has the backing of a decidedly contemporary museography that is suitable for all audiences. In Brussels, the exhibition attracted 85,000 visitors in six months from such varied publics as schools, cultural and religious associations and families. its theme, God(s), a User’s Guide affords an opportunity to develop many activities and events (workshops, conferences, meetings, etc….
God(s), a User’s Guide is an exhibition about religions and their current impact on Civilization that deals not with theology or history, but with contemporary religious practice: God(s), a User’s Guide invites visitors to discover the religious experience, both in its universal (questionings) and particular dimensions (its multiple practices).
God(s), a User’s Guide is an exhibition that broach- es religion from the perspective of secularism, and presents the religious phenomenon without sin- gling out one religion rather than another. Whether believers, agnostics or atheists, Europeans are used to living in a largely secular society. This is not nec- essarily the case elsewhere. Believers know their own religion, but very little about other religions; non-believers have difficulties grasping the religious reality. Many tend to see in the resurgence of reli- gion only its most revolting aspects. It is therefore a matter of urgency to understand this phenomenon, and to provide some useful insights.
Everything that modern museography has to offer has been brought together so that visitors can enjoy a unique moment.
• First, the visitors, the public undertake a real interactive and sensory voyage, where prestige pieces and humble everyday objects, photos, videos, music, and art installations hold court (duration of the visit: 45-60 minutes).
• The public then become spectators, and attend a theatre play (25 minutes).
The narrative of the exhibition is supported by :
•The choice of a media depending on the topic to facilitate understanding.
•The polyphony of different media that turns the visit into a unique experience.
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The complete exhibition in Brussels was held on 1400 m2 comprising 11 sections : • Ten staged sections
(reference Marks, Divinities, The Beyond, rites of Passage, Cycles, Worship, Voices, Place, Body, intercessors).
• The Coexistence and Conflicts section, presented as a theatre play.
In its original, integral version, the exhibition is composed of : • Written and audiovisual material.
• Original artistic installations.
• Staging installations.
• Museum objects.
The exhibition is available in four languages : English, French, Spanish and dutch.
Here are the rental formulas you can use to offer God(s), a user’s Guide to your visitors. The exhibition can be made available immediately, depending on the formula chosen.
The exhibition started its European tour in Brussels (26 October 2006 – 6 May 2007). In the course of this period, the exhibition has given rise to the following activities :
Individual visitors and in groups
85,000 visitors, including 45,000 in groups
The exhibition was visited by more than 1100 groups, mostly schools (80%), followed by associations, cultural groups and pensioners’ groups. More than 550 guided tours were given either by members of the Mu-seum of Europe, or by the 16 guides especially appointed and trained for the exhibition.
The theatre play was seen by the same number of visitors/spectators. The 11 actresses performed the play more than 1500 times in the two languages.
Schools and teachers
7 days intended for education professionals enabled more than 2000 teachers to discover the exhibition. Each teacher received the visitor’s guide free of charge and was given a one hour guided tour of the exhibition.
More than 1000 classes from Brussels, from Belgium, and from border regions visited the exhibition. More- over, each class received a study guide with a list of activities to do before, during or after the exhibition.
The visitor’s guide, a document of 161 amply illustrated pages, including a study guide, was published in 6700 copies (French and Dutch).
Held on 26 October 2006, the inauguration attracted more than 700 people. The exhibition was then vis- ited by personalities from the Belgian and European cultural and socio-economic world.
After the press conference and the dissemination of information, the exhibition was covered by :
• Some one hundred general and specialised press articles in Belgium and abroad (Press review on demand).
• A dozen Belgian, European and international audiovisual reports, including by CNN, Euronews, Arte, La Une, TV Brussel, Radio Klara, Radio 1, RTL, Rai Uno etc...
Targeted partners comprised two priority groups: families and the media of the religious communities.
Furthermore, the exhibition was chosen as a place to record several major media events, and the media sponsors of the exhibition were afforded an opportunity to organise late evening openings for their readers.
Religious communities and inter-cultural associations
Representatives of the main religious communities of Belgium – Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim as well as from secularism -- visited the exhibition. They praised the quality of the exhibition and none felt offended by it, as they appreciated the respect with which the subject was treated. The representative of the Muslim community in particular underscored the fact that the exhibition did not stigmatise his religion.
Furthermore, the exhibition provided many associations with an opportunity to organise events for their members, as well as to create spontaneously important events for the intercultural dialogue at local level.
European professionals of museums
To elicit professional criticism, the Museum of Europe organised two seminars on the exhibition, which gave rise to very interesting discussions. The quality of the exhibition, in terms of both form and substance, was unanimously praised by the participants from various European institutions.
The exhibition was closed by a colloquium entitled Europe, Religion(s) and Modernity bringing together intellectuals from universities in Belgium, France, Germany, Algeria and Israel. The acts of the colloquium will be published and will constitute volume three of the series of international colloquiums organised by the Museum of Europe.
Past and Future Venues
Tour & Taxis Bruxelles/Brussels, 5 months, 2006
Musée de la Civilisation Québec, 5 months, 2011
Centro cultural de la Villa Madrid
Petit Palais Paris
Palexpo Genève, 5 months, 2019-2020