Psychiatrists in a Brussels hospital can prescribe a visit to the museum for people suffering from depression, anxiety or stress as part of their treatment. Patients have the chance to admire the historic ligaments or sewage system in the Belgian capital for free, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.




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The Museum (illustration) | Photo: Peter Nichols | Source: Reuters

Delphine Hoba, a member of the Brussels Council of Culture, said the project’s first objective is to return people to cultural institutions after the COVID-19 pandemic and to let them know that museums or galleries serve the general public.


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“We know that even before the Corona virus it was not easy for some people to enter the exhibition, they do not feel at home there, they do not think it is a place for them,” Hubaova said. However, he also wants to give doctors a “new tool in the treatment process”. It was inspired by Canada, where doctors began writing prescriptions for a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2018.

In Brussels, this project will run for a trial period of six months and will include five museums managed directly by the city authorities. It is a historical museum, a contemporary art center, and a museum of fashion and lace. Patients can also explore the ancient sewage system built in the 19th century or enjoy dressing up a peeing boy statue.

According to psychiatrist Johann Newell of Brugesmann University Hospital, who prescribes the culture to patients, this complementary therapy is appropriate for people with depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, psychosis, and bipolar disorder.

It was recommended for those already undergoing treatment as an optional adjunct to medication, psychotherapy, individual and group therapy, exercise, a healthy diet, and other forms of relaxation. “It’s another tool to get people out of the house and into the community,” Newell said.

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