Today, the Park Abbey houses a collection of over 1,200 paintings and other works of art. The exceptionally rich print cabinet lists about 3,000 inventory numbers.
As a result of seizures, sales, robbery and even destruction, a limited, yet important and representative part of the abbey collection has been preserved from the original historical core collection of the ancien régime. On 11 July 1836, superior Peter Ottoy (1836-1840), in the presence of eleven canons, read the decree of the resurrection of the abbey in the chapter room. The new superior put much effort into restoring the abbey, which had suffered substantial damage, and into rebuilding the library. Ottoy also left his personal collection of paintings, which he had managed to acquire from other old monastery collections. Under the powerful impulse of his successors, the abbey grew further, and flourished greatly towards the end of the nineteenth century. The collection expanded with pieces from fellow-brothers’ art collections and procurements from other collections or through the art trade.
An important part of the abbey heritage will be made accessible by PARCUM. In addition, the museum will also draw from the CRKC collection. This collection of art and culture objects from Flemish monasteries, churches and abbeys demonstrates the rich religious culture in Flanders in the past fifteen centuries.