101 surprising and wonderful hands-on science exhibits about light, sound, optics, touch, vision, smell and the world of illusions

THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED TEMPORARILY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE! - We will keep you informed as soon as possible if, when and where we resume its operation. Sorry for the inconvenience!

What happened? Unbelievable yet true!

Our exhibition was entirely destroyed by the Stib (the govenment owned company operating the Metro in Brussels) on the 1st of september 2012. We are suing that company for compensation and, as of the 27th of february 2014, we are waiting for the court judgment. We are now trying to rebuild a new museum in the capital city of Europe and a new exhibition (see here for the link to our new museum project) and we are looking for partners.

If you want to help us, you can sign the petition: here. Since the text is in French, you will find herebelow an abstract of the events backing our claim for compensation.

In the meantime, we provide science workshops and shows (light, sound, magnetism, ...). We are launching a new show&workshop on robotics (see here for the link). We offer also our expertise to other science centers in the field of interactive science exhibits (more than 20 years of experience in designing, building and operating science exhibits) and education services. We provide these new services worldwide. For instance we have made a video which you can present to the public next to the "anti-gravity" miror. It shows many magic tricks that you can do with that vertical miror (because of our expertise in using it, it was the absolute favorite experiments of our visitors). We offer Skype session to your science museum explainers staff to better use that exhibit.

Don't hesitate to write your suggestions or comments to us at scientastic@yahoo.fr

Abstract of Events that led to the destruction of Scientastic Museum Exhibition

Scientatic had a lease agreement with the Stib which had promised in writing to extend it till 2021.

The Stib changed its mind and did not want to honor this promise any longer because it decided that it wanted to build an underground shopping mall. Despite the fact that it was possible to build the shopping mall in the unoccupied area of the station, the Stib decided that it wanted to build it on our premises.

After trying to negociate with the Stib, Scientastic started legal proceedings at the end of August 2012, in order to have a court judgment about the validity of its claim to stay in the premises. At the end of August 2012, the Stib agreed on a schedule that shoud have led to a court hearing 8 months later in May 2013. While apparently agreeing to stand before the judge, the Stib had actually however, without informing Scientastic museum, already signed a contrat with a company to expell Scientastic. It obviously was not ready to let the judge decide whether Scientastic could stay.

Taking advantage of a weekend, on a Saturday night, September 1st , 2012 at 0:05 in our absence and without a notice of eviction , the STIB barricaded our entrance, blinded the windows (nobody could then see what was going to happen inside), emptied our local and destroyed (and/or allowed the theft) of the entire exhibion.
No notification has been given to Scientastic for these extreme acts. At most, the Stib required that we give back the keys, knowing that we would not comply and that we had stated repeatedly that we would wait for the court judgment. In addition, a few days later, the police of Mt St Guibert in Wallonia found our safe. It had been broken and stripped of its values. It is obvious that the question of a possible link between the theft and the commando operation of the STIB is acute.

In order to make sure that this event would not make a buzz and that the press would not support us, the very powerfull public relation department of the Stib conveyed false information to the press. I will only give here two examples:

First, the Stib claimed that they had made a proposal to relocate us to another spot on their network. This was not true. Not only, they did not send us a legal bid for another location but, in its legal proceedings, the Stib stated itself that it had not any suitable place on its network for us and wrote that " the areas that could be available in the Metro station Hal, Albert and Louise showed no character of similarity with the location occupied by Scientastic: the areas were much lower, the premises were not ready to use and still required construction work that had to be paid by Scientastic".

Second, the Stib claimed that they had to expell us because we were obstructing urgent work that had to be done in the Metro Station on September 1st. This announcement had a disastrous effect on Scientastic. Indeed, believing the STIB, many journalists had regretted the closure of Scientastic. Nobody challenged (even the Stib) the public interest of Scientastic and its contribution to science education in Belgium, but the eviction was presented as anavoidable. Most people who had heard about the eviction were therefore not moved by what was presented to them as a problem of the end of a lease contract and a closure due to necessary work. So, the question is: was there urgent work to be done and was Scientastic obstructing it? It is true that, on september 3rd, TéléBruxelles, a local state owned news broadcasting company, came (probably invited by STIB) to film what the Stib presented as the beginning of the work for renovating the station (not mentioning of course the project of shopping mall). To this end, the STIB organized the demolition of a small shop of 10 m2 abandoned many years before. The STIB had even hired a workder that used a grinder to generate sparks before the cameras, giving the illusion of important work. This work lasted only a day or two at most and, in no way, prevented the opening of Scientastic. And since then, nothing! As of february 2014, the station was still as it was on the night of the eviction 18 months before. And this is not at all surprising because, as of february 2014, the STIB still did not even have the necessary building permit to start the renovation of our premises. Let us notice that, as long as the permit is not delivered, the Stib project remains just that: a project. The STIB also claimed that, in order to start the renovation project, they had to complete urgent examination of the wall, ceiling and floor which required us to leave. This was absurd because Scientastic ceilings and walls were all apparent and the Stib just took samples of the floor to analyse it. So, the STIB coud undertake any study they wanted without us leaving. Besides we had agreed to close temporarily if the Stib could show us the evidence of a work that was requiring it.

The operation of the STIB is so extreme that many mistakenly think that we blow this out of proportion. But, nothing remains of the museum which welcomed 50.000 visitors per year! This is a fact. Others believe that we must have done something which angered the STIB management but it is not true either. In fact, in 2010, we still sent our best new year wishes to the Stib team and did not stop to try to find a gentleman agreement with its management without going to the courts. This is actually the reason why we have resorted to legal action only as a last resort and at the very end of our lease agreement.



The Giant Interactive Kaleidoscope one of the 142 experiments of the exhibition which was destroyed (or stolen)



E-MAIL: scientastic@yahoo.fr

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