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Walther König Bookshop at BOZAR

Feb 9, 2017

CEO Franz König spoke to TLmag about the new Walther König Bookshop at BOZAR in Brussels.

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Text by Nadine Botha
Photography by Yves Gervais

The BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels has added a new Walther König bookshop, designed by Ghent architectural firm Robbrecht & Daem. Walther König is renowned for its leading museum shops and art boutiques across Europe, at places including Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. It’s in the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels that Walther König has decided to set up his very first shop in Belgium. TLmag spoke to CEO Franz König about why there can never be enough bookshops.

TLmag: What is the secret to the success of the Walther König bookshops?
Franz König: We try to source the most interesting books in our chosen field of the visual arts (art, architecture, photography, art history, aesthetic theory, graphic design and the applied arts). We aim to reflect the local and international trends in the visual arts as thoroughly as possible through the accompanying books. We make big efforts in sourcing any book we get recommended, hear or read about. Of course, we need to curate as we are not a database, but our stock is constantly changing and rotating to offer new titles at each visit.

Print’s death has supposedly been imminent for decades now. What is your take on this?
Print is not dead but it has lost its monopoly. Through the strong competition, books as physical objects have risen to new heights in finding and presenting content. Every day I see new and wonderful books that uncover new knowledge and excite me about my job.

What is the importance of a physical bookshop still in the era of online shopping, and how does this influence your shop design and location?
A good bookshop is a place to browse, be surprised and be seduced by its offerings. Our shops are always very condensed as we try to address many different interests and audiences. Our aim is to offer something tempting to every visitor, not only in their main subject of interest but also the offerings to the left and right of it. In the end our shops are as good as our customers. We are very proud and excited about our stock at the Libraire BOZAR.

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