Bert Hermans
'Intensive Care'
Oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm

The title of the painting "Intensive Care" refers to the intensive care that many corona patients needed during the corona epidemic. There was a threat of a shortage of IC beds at the beginning of April 2020. Patients should be relocated to other locations. In the painting they can be seen in the hall.

The title also refers to the intensive restoration of the Antwerp-Central station shown here. In the mid-twentieth century, the building was in a bad condition. A possible demolition was averted when the station was given the status of a protected monument around 1975. On December 20, 1985, it was decided that the station would be restored. That restoration began on March 24, 1986 and lasted until 1998.

The station building was built between 1899 and 1905 as a terminus. The building consists of a steel platform roof and a stone station building. The stone station building (reception building) was built between 1899 and 1905 by Louis Delacenserie (assisted by Charles Poupaert) in an eclectic style (a combination of style elements from earlier periods). Delacenserie spoke of "baroque-medieval eclecticism". He was inspired by the old station building of Lucerne from 1896 and by the Pantheon in Rome.
The large hall (cathedral) with marble floor is often used for all kinds of events and performances, including dance demonstrations.

In 2014, the station was named the most beautiful train station in the world by the British-American news site Mashable.