Diamond, jewellery and silver wear museum DIVA in Antwerp opened in 2018, merging the collections of the Antwerp Diamond Museum and the Sterckshof Silver Museum of the Province of Antwerp. In January 2021, I finally made time for a proper visit, with Oriol.
Situated on the Suikerrui, it’s on the Historic Antwerp sightseeing route for cruise tourists. So it’s very convenient.
DIVA is bigger than I thought. Several thematic rooms give you an overview of diamond, jewellery and silver wear fashions and techniques.
- The Wunderkammer. Your first steps inside DIVA’s house take you into her amazing Wunderkammer. In this contemporary interpretation of a chamber exhibiting a collection of curiosities, objects from every corner of the globe are brought together in a cocoon of luxury. Each object has a story to tell.
- The Atelier. In the next room you’ll learn how all these beautiful objects were made. The art of diamond-cutting and silversmithing is demonstrated in the middle of a timeless atelier.
- The International Trading Room. A multimedia globe shows why Antwerp was and still is the diamond centre of the world. Projected trade routes illustrate how diamonds have made their way to Antwerp for 550 years. Screens and short films provide a wealth of additional information.
- The Dining Room showcases accessories for fine dining.
- The Boudoir showcases mostly 19th and 20th jewelry.
- The Vault introduces you to the struggle against counterfeits.
Then there’s the temporary exhibition. In January, it was ‘The Jeweller’s Art – Revolutionary jewellery from the 1960s & 1970s‘.
An an experience
DIVA provides heaps of information and exhibits many real objects. The ECC tennisracket is the real one. That’s quite exceptional. So you get value for money and you get to spend a few hours inside.
The brochure with information is not so clear. The main rooms are divided in number for walls or panels and each panel numbers objects. But those panels aren’t always next to each other. It’s all a bit confusing to grasp.
Hopefully it’s only a temporary corona thing.