On the 11th May 2017, the students of the BIMSEM in Mechlin visited our temporary museum. Following up is an article about the guided tour written by one of the young pupils:
ABBA used to sing it, Scrooge McDuck knew it since long and you are surely in the know too: it’s all about the money. On Thursday 11 May I visited with my fellow pupils from the sixth grade the source of our money: the National Bank of Belgium. After lunch we took a train to Brussels, not much knowing what to expect. An account of the afternoon:
When we arrived in Brussels, it was only a short walk from the station to the National Bank. We were welcomed with open arms and metal detectors, to prevent us from robbing the bank.
After inspection of the content of our bags, we found ourselves in a big hall. At the left hand we saw the counter hall, which reminded us somewhat of the Gringotts Bank in a Harry Potter-movie. On the right hand we found what we were looking for: the temporary museum – which is temporary because of the – temporary – renovation works on the building. We could not visit the National Bank itself for security reasons, but we did not really mind, as we soon found out that the museum had a lot in store for us.
At the entrance of the museum, we were divided into two groups, each with one guide and a teacher. During the visit, we learned a lot about trade in the past and inflation, as well as how to detect counterfeit money. It was great to be able to test our knowledge from our lessons at school during the visit and to learn more about the economic market in a fun way. We know now which material the euro and the dollar notes are made off and we saw a genuine stone from Yap-island, a milestone in our economic career! Rarely have we seen so many precious objects in one spot. The collection of commodity money, coins, banknotes and medals, which has been expanding since 1950 (even before the inauguration of the museum!) was really something else.
At the end of the visit, we were invited to print banknotes with our own image on it (check this out!) and subsequently we returned to Mechlin, a little tired, but happy.
The visit was both interesting and definitely worth doing again next year, since this was the first time that we visited the National Bank with our school. The only minus was the fact that we could not print real money, but we certainly enjoyed our afternoon.
Starting January 2018, the BIMSEM Mechlin, as well as every other school, will be welcome in our new museum , at a new address: rue Montagne aux Herbes potagères/ Warmoesberg 57, 1000 Brüssel.