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Though many of MoMu’s pieces are donated — especially when it comes to contemporary fashion — it also has a modest acquisition budget. “For the historical pieces, we do buy sometimes, but it’s very difficult for us to go on the art markets because we get the catalogs only one or two weeks before the sale,” Mertens explains. “And then you always need to check the condition of the pieces because you can’t make a decision based on pictures, sometimes you’ll be surprised by the actual piece. More often people come into the museum telling us they have this or that piece and we go have a look at it. Sometimes they gift it to us. The rest depends on the price, and whether we have similar pieces already.”