Villa Empain was conceived by Belgian philanthropist Louis Empain as his private home.

Once the villa opened its door in 1934, Louis Empain realised that it was impossible to find a home within a piece of art. He donated the property to the Belgian state in 1937 with the intention of creating a museum of contemporary art. Since then Villa Empain has led different lives.

During German occupation in WWII, Villa Empain was requisitioned by the German army. It served afterwards as the embassy of Soviet Union.




In the 1970’s, the villa was rented by RTL television before being left unoccupied n the 1990’s. The site then lay empty and suffered from vandalisms and squatters.

Finally. in 2008 the Foundation Boghossian acquired the building and initiated an extensive renovation program.

Today, Villa Empain serves its original purpose: to be a centre of art and dialogue.