King Leopold II’s secret statue factory

King Leopold II’s secret statue factory

This hidden gem is for anybody looking to impress his or her art-savvy date, or for people who would like a life-size Michelangelo statue in the middle of their bathroom.


It is the place where devoted artisans have been copying the world’s greatest statues for over a century and a half, which all started with King Leopold II. The man argued that every Belgian museum and school needed copies of those sculptures, in addition to busts depicting his royal likeness (we’ll pass on those ones, thank you very much), so he set up this workshop and put people to the task. The place is still operating today and features rows and rows of Michelangelo’s Davids, Milo’s Venuses, Medieval Virgin Maries and also a lot of fragments of once grand sculptures –the latter being the work of German prisoners of war, who were tasked with cleaning up the place in 1914, but didn’t seem so excited by the job. Nowadays, although the place looks locked up, you can still push its doors, visit the collection and the still active atelier, and even buy or order a statue for yourself. Like going to the supermarket!


Visit l’Atelier de Moulage for all the practical info.


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