The Royal Academy of Archeology of Belgium - Académie Royale d’Archéologie de Belgique ou Koninklijke Academie voor Oudheidkunde van België (ARAB-KAOB) - aims to promote the development in Belgium of archeology and art history studies, as well as scientific disciplines associated to these matters.
Founded in 1842, it is since 1934 a non-profit association (ASBL) headed by a Board of Directors and an Office. It is placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty the King. Since 2009, it is helding its meetings at the Palais des Académies in Brussels.
The Academy maintains a sustained relationship with other Academies, of Archeology and of History of Art in particular; it is also a member of the International Academic Union (UAI) and was appointed in 2012 by the International Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA) to assume the function of Belgian Art History Committee (BAHC).
Bringing together specialists from the different communities, institutions and fields of reflection involved in Belgium in the development of these disciplines, it has 60 statutory members, selected from corresponding members appointed for at least three years, as well as 40 corresponding members elected according to a dual sponsorship and election process. Older statutory and corresponding members who wish to do so can access the honorary membership. The Academy has also been appointing foreign associate members since 1967, in order to establish privileged contacts with "persons of foreign nationality who contribute to the development of archeology and art history in Belgium through their teaching or their work ”.
The work of the Academy consists mainly of periodic meetings, collaborative research, organization of symposia and publications.
The Academy published, from 1843 to 1930, the Annales de l’Académie royale d’Archéologie de Belgique as well as the Bulletin de l’Académie royale d’Archéologie de Belgique published from 1868 and 1930, which were succeeded in 1931 by the Revue belge d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’Art - Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Oudheidkunde en Kunstgeschiedenis. A publication with international reach, which was “A” ranked in 2011 by the "European reference Index for the Humanities".
It has awarded various prizes and instituted, in 2013, the Prize of the Royal Academy of Archeology of Belgium rewarding an unpublished study of art history devoted to an artist, a work, a region or an aspect of humanism in Belgium. Its regulations can be viewed on this site.
Although it defines itself as a think tank, not as a pressure group, it can take a stand on issues that involve its responsibilities. An implication that it intends to maintain through the organization of reflection days on the evolution of practices, as well as on ethical issues specific to its disciplines.