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2,000 rare architectural plans discovered in Brussels

A staggering 2,000 architectural plans, drawn up by the pioneer of art nouveau Victor Horta, thought to be lost forever, have been found in an archive in Brussels.

BRUSSELS: A staggering 2,000 architectural plans, drawn up by the pioneer of art nouveau Victor Horta, thought to be lost forever, have been found in an archive in Brussels.

They were discovered among an enormous hoard of other historic plans, retained by a construction company, not known to have existed.

Brussels is a city shaped by the architecture of Victor Horta -- the father of the Art Nouveau movement.

One of his groundbreaking buildings during the 1920s is the Palace of Fine Arts.

Two thousand architectural plans, which were thought to be lost forever, have been uncovered in three truckloads of historic drawings, which were donated to the archive of modern architecture.

"It's not only interesting from a historical point of view, it's also very moving from a personal point of view," said Yaron Pesztat, board member of the Archive d’Architecture Moderne.

Yaron Pesztat said they couldn't believe their eyes when they realised what they had found.

"Horta, at the end of his life, destroyed almost all his plans so these are the only plans that remain," he said.

But this discovery is not only about Horta. Thousands of plans of other architects, who shaped the landscape of Brussels, are still waiting to be uncovered.

Nestled inside the endless piles of files may be more incredible plans that are yet to be found, but the private archive says a lack of resources mean it could take years to go through.

"It's paper in fact. Files of paper wrapped into another paper so you have to open all of them, one by one, and discover what is inside. So it's very exciting, because you don't know what you are going to discover," said Mr Pesztat.

As researches delve into this incredible pool of architectural history, they are not just adding to our knowledge of how art nouveau began, but also discovering how the landscape of one of Europe's capitals could have looked so very different.

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