The good news: yesterday marked the start of the Rene Magritte centenary exhibition in Brussels, and it continues until 28 June. The man responsible for Le Jockey Perdu (pictured) has become L'artiste celebre.
The venue is the Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts (00 322 508 3211), which already had the best collection of the Surrealist's work. These paintings have been augmented by a further 200 from collections world-wide, including some that are on show for the first time.
In short-break terms, Brussels is the flavour of the year so far. Faster Eurostar trains from Waterloo mean that Brussels has leapfrogged Paris in terms of accessibility - journey times are as low as two hours 30 minutes. You can reach the Belgian capital on Eurostar (0345 303030) for pounds 79 return, so long as you book at least three days beforehand and stay a Saturday night.
For pounds 86 more, Time Off (0990 846363) offers a three-night package using Eurostar trains, and including accommodation in the Leopold or Atlas hotels and a timed ticket to the exhibition.
The Musees Royaux is the centre-piece of "1998 - Year of Surrealism", a programme of events across Belgium, with film shows, readings, even walking tours, plus a Magritte and modern art exhibition at Ostend's fine Museum of Modern Art, focusing on work inspired by the Surrealist.
For details of the Full Rene, contact the Belgian Tourist Office, 29 Princes Street, London W1R 7TG (0891 887799, a Surreal premium-rate number).Reuse content