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The Boghossian Foundation

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An Architectural Jewel

The Villa Empain

The Boghossian Foundation aims to heal cultural divides by providing a space for artistic dialogue between East and West. It was this purpose that led the Boghossian family to purchase and renovate the Villa Empain in 2006, one of the finest private residences in Brussels. Designed by Swiss architect Michel Polak for Baron Louis Empain in the 1930s, the villa fell into a state of disrepair in the 1990s, before the Maison bought it in 2006 and set about a four-year project to restore it to its former Art Deco glory.

Now, the villa shines again as the headquarters of the Boghossian Foundation, a dedicated Centre of Art and Dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures. Welcoming 50'000 visitors per year, the villa hosts art exhibitions, performances, events and artist residencies, with the aim of removing social barriers and encouraging an exchange of cultural and artistic ideas.

Conceived by internationally renowned curators, over the last decade Villa Empain’s exhibitions have explored a diversity of themes, from nostalgia and eternity, to female anger, and the impact of borders both real and imagined. Open to all, the Foundation continues to promote the universal language of art as a force for positive social change.

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" With the Foundation, we can share and transmit our values but, most importantly, we can promote the development of closer cultural ties between the East and the West."

Jean Boghossian


A Humanitarian Purpose

The Boghossian Foundation was founded in 1992 by Robert Boghossian and his sons Jean and Albert. Through six generations of travel from East to West, the Boghossian family have witnessed untold natural tragedies and conflicts. The Foundation was first established to aid Armenia’s social, educational and cultural reconstruction following an earthquake in 1988. It continues to fund humanitarian and philanthropic projects to improve the lives of young people in Armenia, Lebanon and Syria. The Foundation’s work includes restoring schools damaged by the 2020 explosion in Beirut, providing education and protection to Syrian refugee children, and offering scholarships to distinguished students at Haigazian University in Lebanon. It also helps to fund schools, cultural centres and public works of art across the region.