It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s art!

We’ve already had Tintin, Magritte, Les Diables Rouges, Tomorrowland and the Smurfs themed aeroplanes, and today Brussels Airlines is unveiling its 6th Belgian Icon: a unique aeroplane inspired by the Flemish painter Bruegel the Elder. A gigantic flying artwork and the most complex aeroplane design in the world will take to the skies as of 3 May.

Acting as curator, BOZAR suggested working with two contemporary Belgian artists, Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys. This artistic duo will occupy the Belgian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. For the aircraft, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys chose a selection of elements from the emblematic Pieter Bruegel paintings. The new universe they created includes details and scenes from works such as Netherlandish Proverbs, Children’s Games, The Flight into Egypt, The Hunters in the Snow or The Peasant Dance.

The result is a 37 metre-long Airbus A320 which has been christened Bruegel. Each of the two sides of the fuselage have their own design and it took 19 days to hand-paint everything. The phenomenal degree of detail in the painting means Bruegel is the most complex aeroplane design ever to be created.

Bruegel’s maiden voyage will be to Venice, in order to drop the artists off in time for the opening of their Mondo Cane exhibition in the Belgian Pavilion. The aeroplane will then operate throughout Brussels Airlines’ European and Middle East network for the coming five years. After the Venice biennale Jos de Gruyter en Harald Thys will bring an adapted version of Mondo Cane to BOZAR.

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