The restoration of the KMSKA includes the treatment of the museum’s mosaic floors. One of them, however, was beyond saving: the floor at the top of the stairs leading up to the museum entrance. It is currently being replaced with what will be the largest piece of mosaic art in the country – a vast welcome mat in coloured stone.
This created the opportunity for a bold new idea: what if we were to choose a completely new design? Marie Zolamian (Beirut, 1975) was asked to come up with an original concept. Her first mosaic will also be Europe’s largest piece of mosaic art in the past 20 years. Zolamian studied fine art at the Royal Liège Academy and La Cambre in Brussels. She is fascinated by memory, heritage and the tension between reality and imagination. All these interests come together in her design for KMSKA’s new mosaic.
Zolamian immersed herself in the museum’s collection and history to help her conceive a vast welcome mat in stone. Little by little, she gathered a selection of works to which she was drawn instinctively, before combining them to create a unified whole.
The renowned mosaic studio Mosaico di Due is hard at work turning Marie Zolamian’s design into stone. Its driving force, Gino Tondat, comes from a long line of Italian mosaic setters. Together with Sarah Landmeters, he has made Mosaico di Due Belgium’s market leader in traditional mosaics. In addition to this new design, Gino and Sarah’s firm have restored all the museum’s other mosaic floors.
They are currently preparing the new mosaic at their studio, tile by tile, and will lay it at the museum in the course of 2021.
The KMSKA’s new mosaic in figures
- Area: 76m²
- Weight: 3 tonnes
- Materials: 60 types of marble from all over the world and Murano glass
- Number of tiles: 480,000 (the old mosaic had 187,500)
- Hours of work: 6,000
With thanks to
Funding for this unique work of mosaic art comes from the art lover Richard Vander Linden’s bequest to the museum.