Altaar van Antwerpen – the ALTAR OF ANTWERP – is an installation in cooperation with the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) that, fed by artists and inhabitants of the city, has been expanding each year. The folk traditions of Mexico have given us a manner of remembering lost loved ones.

The ALTAR OF ANTWERP is inspired on a pre-Columbian tradition, namely before the European colonists reached America. This tradition, for remembering someone whom we have lost and temporarily bringing them back amongst us with an altar, is still especially popular in Mexico. This makes death feel a bit less final and terrifying.

Since the Mestizo Arts Festival 2012, Gerardo Salinas, curator of the Antwerp ALTAR, has been asking 1 among several different artists to add a new layer to the installation each year. Besides that, visitors in and inhabitants of Antwerp are invited to participate by way of workshops.

Thanks to a new group of artists who, in cooperation with the citizens of Antwerp, are working on loss and remembrance, this interactive installation at the MAS has been expanding each year.

The ALTAR helps Antwerp citizens to reflect about who and what is/been important for them, bringing back feelings, moments and loved ones of the past and giving us a feeling that we are still linked to them. In 2017, the ALTAR became a part of the permanent collection of the MAS. 

The Altar has been listed as 1 of the 8 ambassadors, in a register of good examples of Immaterial Patrimony in Flanders.


Colección is a series of videos that reflect the story of the ancestral cultures of Latin America from the perspective of six Belgian artists of Latin American origin.

A Playlist

The soundtrack of the city. Each participant selects a music piece and a memory that goes with it.

Catalogue Altar of Anwerp

In the catalogue you find information on each layer added each year.

The artists involved in the ALTAR VAN ANTWERP are:

  • 2012 & 2013: Patricia Lopez (Belgian-Mexican visual artist)
  • 2014: Bárbara Echevarría (Argentinian theatre producer and founder of Acéfala Galería)
  • 2015: Bart Boudewijns aka SMOK, Michiel Mels, Alex Cordova & Elizabeth Carrazco (visual artists)
  • 2016: Lucila Guichón (visual artist) with stories of Yentl De Werdt (choreographer, dancer) and Younes Van den Broeck (aka Spitler/Spitart)
  • 2017: Joana Rossi (visual artist)
  • 2018: Aimée Zito Lema (visual artist)
  • 2019: Cuauthemoc Garmendia, Lucila Guichón and Israel Alonso
  • 2020: Gerardo Salinas, Gea Zazil, Joana Rossi, Juan Carlos Bonifaz, Lucila Guichón, Javier Perugachi 
Mestizo Arts Platform