The Museum’s collections

The former Arms Museum, Glass Museum and Museum of Archaeology and Decorative Arts (including the Ansembourg Museum) – all three of which belong to Liège's municipal museums – have merged with the Museum of Religious Art and Mosan Art to form a homogeneous museum group that brings together decorative arts, industrial arts and archaeology. This unique museum structure, which comprises various collections with multiple sources and owners (City of Liège, Walloon Region, Liégeois Archaeological Institute, University of Liège, Bishopric of Liège, Society of Art and History of the Diocese, Cathedral, etc.), is structured as five departments: the departments of archaeology, arms, religious art and Mosan art, decorative arts and glass. This collection makes it the richest museum collection in French-speaking Belgium.

The Grand Curtius is unique thanks to the concentration of masterpieces that it stores in its collections. It offers a series of collections and a wide variety of artistic, craft and industrial practices, with a diverse range of materials and a broad chronological range that spans from prehistory to contemporary times.

The exceptional quantity and quality of the collections reveals an exceptional level of quality that is characteristic of Liège. Indeed, the artefacts preserved in these collections showcase an artistic and technical know-how which constantly refers back to the most remarkable chapters in the history of the city, the principality and the region of Liège.

These objects are divided into five collections, each of which can compete with the world leaders in their field. The collection devoted to archaeology and, in particular, the pre-historic period (whose name was invented in Liège by Schmerling in the nineteenth century) includes the Hamal-Nandrin and Depuydt collections. The section on religious art, whose significance is obvious for an ecclesiastical principality like Liège, comes from the former Maram (Museum of Religious Art and Mosan Art). All together, the glass collections (formerly the Armand Baar Collection) are the second largest in the world, after Corning in the United States. The museum's collection of weapons pays tribute to the nation, which has maintained its position at the forefront of the trade and production of arms thanks to its historical neutrality. Finally, the collection of decorative arts offers admirable testimony to Liège in the eighteenth century, which competed, on equal terms, with Paris.
Finally, we must also mention the unique collection that was donated by Baron and Baroness François Duesberg, which is of international interest. It consists of pieces and artefacts related to tableware and time-keeping (clocks from the Louis XVI, Directory, Consulate and 1st Empire periods).