How DIVA was born
DIVA presents an intriguing combination of authentic objects, impressive sets, scientific research and historical context combined with entertaining stories and intense emotions.
In 2013, the Province of Antwerp purchased the buildings which had housed the Folklore and Ethnographic museums and it earmarked the site for DIVA, the new museum in the heart of Antwerp whose brief is to present silversmithing, jewellery and of course diamonds to the general public.
As well as retelling ‘The BrillAntwerp Story’, which for years was the focus of the Provincial Diamond Museum, DIVA will be able to flesh out that story by drawing on the precious collections of the former Provincial Silver Museum housed in Sterckshof Castle in Deurne until the end of 2014.
DIVA's entourage delved into libraries and archives and consulted international historians and diamond experts. They took a fresh and objective look at the collections of the Province of Antwerp’s former museums for silver and diamonds and eventually came up with an exhibition trail comprising six themes with the focus on Antwerp and human interest stories.
To add a touch more pizzazz to her story, DIVA brought in director and screenwriter Frank Van Laecke and his team. They created her butler. He will open doors and introduce each theme as visitors journey through the world of DIVA. Moreover, fictitious stories will bring to life the human presence behind fourteen chefs d’oeuvre from the DIVA collection. Frank Van Laecke mixes fact and fiction with a cocktail of universal emotions. It is up the visitor to decide if he wants to separate truth from illusion by unlocking deeper layers of information provided by multimedia applications. Furthermore, an army of architects, engineers and building contractors are in a race against time to make DIVA’s home accessible. Interior designer Gert Voorjans will envelop visitors in a contemporary Wunderkammer packed with valuable objects and exotica. Set designer Carla Jansen-Höfelt is taking charge of the remaining five spaces where the emphasis will be on dazzling diamonds.