Antwerpen - BE - 2000
DIVA, Antwerp Home of Diamonds
Jewellery, Silversmithing and Diamonds
DIVA, Antwerp Home of Diamonds, the new international diamond museum with a heart beating for silversmithing in Antwerp, takes you on an emotional, interactive journey that explores the different aspects of silversmithing, jewellery and of course first and foremost diamonds. It is an introduction to the fascinating history of silversmithing in Antwerp and to the craftsmanship, trade and consumption of luxury products in our diamond centre of the world.
DIVA is the new name for Antwerp’s amalgamated Silver Museum and Diamond Museum. The emphasis is on diamonds, for the city-on-the-Scheldt’s economy has revolved around diamonds for centuries. At the same the museum is so much more than diamonds. Thanks in no small part to the exceptional collection of silverware from the former Silver Museum, it is the bridge to the world in which diamonds are truly at home, the world of glamour and luxury, the world of jewellers and silversmiths.
An interactive journey
To visit DIVA is to journey through her house. Acting as your personal guide, DIVA’s butler will allow you a peek inside the various rooms where her most precious treasures are kept, and you’ll be able to admire them to your heart’s content because DIVA regards her visitors as privileged guests and she wants them to enjoy her wondrous world to the full.
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. As you marvel at them, you’ll learn all about Antwerp’s illustrious past, for until the middle of the seventeenth century the city led the way in the production and distribution of art and luxury goods. Silverware, jewellery, precious stones and exotic curiosities like coconuts, shells and coral were highly sought-after. Each object has a story to tell, and so do its collectors.
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. Take a seat at a workbench and select the information that interests you most.
The International Trading Room
DIVA’s butler will then take you inside the world of international diamond trading. A multimedia globe makes it instantly clear 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. But don’t worry, DIVA’s butler will wait until you are ready to continue to the next room!
The Dining Room
In the next room DIVA invites you to take a seat at her surrealist arrangement of tables, decked with costly silver services worthy of the grandest of banquets. You’ll overhear tantalizing snippets of conversation. A central spoken narrative conjures up an atmosphere of plenitude, pure decadence even. The rules of etiquette and stories about some of Antwerp’s aristocratic families shed light on the use of silver and the different lifestyles of rich and poor.
Before entering DIVA’s boudoir, you’ll step into a strongroom. Just answer a few questions and you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of information and stories. Tests, which you’ll carry out yourself, film excerpts and animated films will provide insight into diamond crime and what is being done to tackle the problem.
You leave DIVA in style.... through DIVA’s jewellery boudoir where she keeps her most precious treasures.
Opening hours: Thursday to Tuesday: 10 am - 6 pm - Closed Wednesdays