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At its academic opening ceremony at BOZAR VUB awarded a ‘non-honorary doctorate’ to René Magritte. André Garitte of the Magritte Museum in Jette and Sven Gatz, Flemish minister of Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels, received it in name of the surrealistic painter who died 50 years ago.


With its decision to award a non-doctorate to Magritte VUB wants to honour the important Brussels’ surrealist posthumously for “his way of observing and thinking that questions, rebels against and undermines the obvious”.


The awarding took place after the academic elocution by VUB rector Caroline Pauwels, and which centered around authentic surrealism. She posited that VUB too has to dream like Magritte used to and surpass realism. She invited those in attendance to join her in doing so. “As Vrije Universiteit Brussel, as heirs of Pierre-Théodore Verhaeghen and in the spirit of René Magritte, it is our moral obligation.”


Following the awarding of the non-doctorate there was a performance by Arno after which Caroline Pauwels flanked by Eddy Van Gelder, chairman of the Board of Directors of VUB and rector for one week, Jana Goyvaerts, opened the academic year 2017-2018. The drinks reception afterwards took place in the Horta Hall, decked out with so-called Lost Magrittes for the occasion.