Eric Speeckaert has donated to the Foundation a collection of archives, books and documents relating to Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne (1735-1814), one of the emblematic figures of history and literature at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
At the start of the 1980s, Eric Speeckaert purchased Coup d’œil sur Beloeil and Mon refuge; ou Satyre sur les abus des jardins modernes written by Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne. It was the beginning of a fascinating collection based on the work and person of the Prince de Ligne. The collection comprises no fewer than 175 documents that bear testimony to the Prince’s talents as a dramatic writer, his taste for military art and his passion for gardens. A heritage collection that is both rare and of great quality, a coherent ensemble that Eric Speeckaert wished to see preserved in its entirety.
It is for this reason that he has given his collection to the King Baudouin Foundation and created, within it, the "Eric Speeckaert Fund for the study of the works of Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne". The Fund has as its aim to promote the work of Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne, the history of the House de Ligne and their possessions. In priority, the Fund will ensure the conservation and promotion of the collection.
Having completed his first two years of law studies at the 'Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix' in Namur, and because he is a member of the Moretus Plantin Institute, Eric Speeckaert expressed the wish that the collection be entrusted to the 'Bibliothèque Universitaire Moretus Plantin' in Namur. There, the collection lies at the heart of a dynamic research project into one of the most important families to have marked the history of Belgium and Europe.