The traveling exhibition “Boter bij de vis” is the result of a cooperation between the Centre for Agricultural History (CAG), the Department Agriculture and Fishery of the Flemish Government, the Catholic University of Louvain and 12 heritage partners, including the National Museum on Customs and Excise in Antwerp.
The project is part of the ongoing remembrance activities concerning the centenary of the Great War. We want to highlight the very dramatic food situation in occupied Belgium. The very drastic reduction in the crucial import of foodstuff, the destruction inflicted on farms, fields and livestock, the demands made by the German occupying forces, the shortage of raw materials and manpower and a number of other reasons brought the population on the brink of starvation. To feed all these hungry mouths especially the housewives needed quite a bit of creativity. Smuggling and other types of fraud – even counterfeiting – also turned up in force so the National Museum on Customs and Excise was a logical partner in the exhibition project. We brought in specific aspects about life in the border regions and the role of Customs during that period.
On 18 February the exhibition was officially opened by Kristian Vanderwaeren, Administrator-general of Customs and Excise and Robert Robbrecht, chairman of the museum association, with some 80 guests in attendance. “Boter bij de vis" can be visited in the D&Amuseum until 30 June 2016 (Ellermanstraat 21, 2060 Antwerpen). Afterwards it will be traveling further through Flanders and Brussels.