“People often enter the museum just because they’re attracted by the building,” says Jo Santy, MIM’s head of public services: “We’re surrounded by uniformly severe neo-classical facades,then there’s this art nouveau outburst.” The museum originally provided educational resources to students at the Brussels conservatory, which explains its approach to collecting. “We have families of instruments, we try for richness, completeness and diversity across cultures rather than spending funds on so-called masterpieces often revealed later as fakes!” says Santy: “That means any visitor – tourist, child, music lover or even musicologist – will discover new things here.

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