On 19 February 2019 we kicked off our new temporary exhibition “…Uw vaderland nuttig zijn” (In the service of your country).
The exhibition was officially opened by advisor-general Robert Robbrecht, chairman of the Belgian National Museum on Customs and Excise. Then it was up to the curator of the museum to give the historical background and to guide the visitors through the exhibition. Some reenactors from the Memorial Museum Fort Liezele helped to create the appropriate setting, being in uniforms of the Belgian army dating from 1914 and 1918. On this opening day we had some 70 guests, including members of the museum association and a number of heritage partners. We were also very pleased to welcome Wim Van Es as president of the International Association of Customs/Tax Museums.
A few days later even the Administrator-General of the Belgian C&E included a visit to our new exhibition in his tight
The exhibition is the second part of our project on Belgian Customs & Excise during the Great War, after “Boter bij de Vis” in 2016. A century after the conclusion of WW I this exhibition offers us the opportunity to focus on C&E during this traumatic era. The three main themes are our administration, our colleagues and the border in times of war and under foreign occupation.
A lot of time was spent in preparing the exhibition, e.g. consulting archives and collecting relevant objects. It is a pity that a number of questions could not be answered and that certain aspects could not be highlighted. However, visitors will notice that we have a lot to tell and to show on our administration, its officers and the border area during the 1914-18 war.