An ‘open depot’ is when a museum depot is opened to the public, offering an opportunity to see part of the collection that is not usually on display.
Typically, the objects exhibited in a museum are just the tip of the iceberg, and most of the collection is stored in the depot. The same is true at the MOT. With over twenty-five thousand items, our collection is so extensive that it is impossible to display all the objects in our display rooms.
This barn was used as an exhibition space for many years, although it was not really suited for the purpose. The space is not heated, insulated or dust-free. We therefore decided to close it to the public.
The Municipality of Grimbergen has undertaken to carry out the necessary improvements over the next few years. The ultimate goal is to make it a fully fledged space for temporary exhibitions.
In the meantime, we are able to use the space that has been liberated as an open depot for the vehicles section of the collection.
In numerical terms, the vehicles represent a small part of the collection, but due to their size they take up the greatest amount of floor space. Their size makes carts and wagons awkward to display in an exhibition room, and as a result they are forced to remain in the depot.
Yet their importance to daily life in the past was too great to simply ignore them. Transport by land was, is and always will be a fundamental human activity.
In keeping with the theme of this museum, we only collect work vehicles used for carrying loads, and not those used to convey passengers.
© Philippe Debroe