Story of the Day: Tracking modern art in Ghent


I’ve been a regular in Flanders over the last couple of years. The combination of an easy Eurostar hop and lots of city-break angles – from Belgian fries to urban regeneration – have made for a rich seam of stories for me to mine.

This piece, taken from the Weekend Financial Times, has a modern-art angle on Ghent.

Sometimes the story looks better in the planning and turns out to be something of a letdown in situ. This was one of those.

Here’s an extract:

“My favourite work is an open-air library overseen by the Italian artist Massimo Bartolini [pictured above]. Set amid vineyards, against the medieval backdrop of St Peter’s Abbey, the 12 rows of bookshelves are filled with 8,000 donated books. The order is random and visitors are encouraged to borrow books and return new ones.

“Ssh,” grins Bartolini, adopting the persona of head librarian as I greet him between the tightly packed shelves. “I first saw an outdoor library in Hay-on-Wye. This place feels like an extension of the cloisters: part interior, part exterior. I like that.”

Read the full story, A Postcard from Ghent.

Did I miss the point here? Or was Track more arse than art?

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