Cultural Activities

The Museum organises a large variety of cultural activities, why not get involved?

Chimp in captivity (image from movie Unlocking the Cage, copyright: Pennebaker Hegedus Films)
Target Audiences:
Adults, Individuals

Our temporary exhibition MONKEYS comes with 11 nocturnes! Visit the exhibition from 17.30 to 21.30 and attend a lecture or the screening of a documentary (followed by a debate) from 19.00.

During the nocturne on 17.05.2018, we will show you the movie Unlocking the Cage (in English, 91 min., by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker, 2016), about American lawyer Steven Wise's efforts to achieve legal rights for monkeys in captivity and other nonhuman animals, followed by a debate (in English and Dutch)

With Koen Margodt (Jane Goodall Institute Belgium)

Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections. Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse. Using writs of habeas corpus (historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), Wise argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve’s impassioned arguments. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect “nonhuman” animals.


  • 17.30 > 21.30: visit the exhibition MONKEYS (the other Museum halls are closed)
  • 19.00: screening of the documentary (in English), followed by a debate (in English and Dutch) in the auditorium
  • The Dino Café is open until 19.00.
  • No reservation
17 May 2018
17:30 to 21:30
Entry Fees: 

12 € (single price for film & debate + access to MONKEYS)

Primatologist and ethologist Frans de Waal
Target Audiences:
Adults, Individuals

To conclude the program of the nocturnes linked to our temporary exhibition MONKEYS, the famous primatologist and ethologist Frans de Waal will give a lecture in BOZAR (Henry Le Boeuf Hall), entiteled Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? on May 29th 2018.

Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long. during the lecture, we’ll follow chimpanzees and bonobos, as well as crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats or whales.
Frans de Waal is Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, USA (EMORY University).


  • Lecture in English
  • At BOZAR, Henry Le Boeuf Hall
  • By reservation only via BOZAR TICKETS (02 507 82 00)
  • No evening visits to the exhibition at the Museum on Tuesday 29th of May 2018
29 May 2018
20:00 to 22:00
Entry Fees: 

20 €

By reservation only via BOZAR TICKETS (02 507 82 00)

Kids Day (photo: Jane Goodall Institute Belgium)
Target Audiences:
Kids, Families

The Jane Goodall Institute Belgium organises free activities in connection with the exhibition MONKEYS every third Sunday of the month (except May, July and August) at the Museum. Usual admission fees for the exhibitions

Information and workshop with the Jane Goodall Institute Belgium

Discover the conservation work the Jane Goodall Institute does with chimpanzees and what you can do from home. Try out the quiz!

  • 10:00 > 18:00
  • Free

Become an ape!  Live like a bonobo, a chimpanzee or a gorilla. (from 8 to 12 years old)

  • Information and advance booking via email at (possibility to do the workshop in English if sufficient number of children enrolled beforehand)
  • NL 14:00 > 15:30
  • FR 15:45  >17:15
  • Free
17 June 2018
10:00 to 18:00
Entry Fees: 

Free activities

logo Fusion18
Target Audiences:

Fusion18 is a temporary installation bridging the gap between the natural sciences and drawing. Discover our collections through scientific illustrations of our specimens, works by a well-known artist and sketches by enthusiastic amateurs.

Scientifically accurate

Scientific illustrations are educational drawings that make it possible to show several aspects of a specimen (such as relief, material and thickness) in a single image. They highlight details that are near invisible to the naked eye. Before the development of cameras, and more recently, 3D scanners, drawings were the only way to accurately depict THE reference specimen for a new species in a scientific publication. In Fusion18, you will see some works of our professional illustrators.

Frans Gentils

This Belgian artist has always had a passion for archaeology and evolution. As a child, he dug in the sand surrounding the port in Antwerp to look for fossils. His many trips to the Museum were a particular source of inspiration. He represents and sometimes combines animals, humans and bone fragments in his works using paint, paper and ceramic.

Draw on your own artistic skills!

When you bring your sketchbook to the Museum, you get 50% off for our permanent galleries. Send your artwork to - a selection will be shown in the Fusion18 installation - or post it to Twitter or Instagram with #museumfusion18. Or come to our Drawing Marathon on Friday May 4th, from 9.30 am to 21 pm (for artists entrance to the permanent galleries is free)!

Practical information
  • From April 26th until July 1st 2018, you receive a 50 percent discount on all price rates for the permanent galleries: for individual visitors that show their sketchbook at the pay desk, and for groups only after making a reservation via For the temporary exhibition MONKEYS, you pay € 2,5 extra.
  • Participating in the marathon (and admission to the permanent galleries and Fusion18) is free for individual visitors that show their sketchbook at the pay desk, for groups only after making a reservation via From 5.30 pm to 9.00 pm, only the Dinosaur Gallery, the Mineral Hall and 250 Years of Natural Sciences are open.
26 April 2018 to 01 July 2018
09:30 to 18:00

Guided tours during lunch time (every 3rd thursday of the month). Only in Dutch

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