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The Flemish multidisciplinary artist Jan Fabre is no stranger to controversial designs. In 1990 he covered an entire building with drawings made by a ballpoint pen. One of his most recent designs however is a striking interior feature found in the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium. The ceiling of the main hall is comprised of 1.6 million Jewel Beetles (Buprestidae) individually glued on by an army of workers.

green-beetle-ceilingWhen first entering the interior of the Brussels Royal Palace, it can be difficult to know what exactly the glowing green ceiling is made of. Many visitors offer their best guesses which range from silkworm yarn, wool, gem stones and painted shells. The ceiling itself rests above the intricately decorated and luxurious interior filled with ornate and classical art and designs.

jewel-beetle-bug-ceilingThe ‘Heaven Of Delight’ as the jewel beetle adorned ceiling is called, took four months to complete. The reason for choosing this particular bug was because of the jewel beetle’s unique shine and deep green hue. For an artist who has previously worked with various bodily fluids, the insect was a perfect choice as a rather macabre element to a modernist ceiling design.

fabre-beetle-ceiling-royal-hall-brusselsThe exquisite setting means the visitor will possibly assume that the ceiling is made from some precious rocks or gems. Upon close inspection they will see textile-like patterns in a layered format. Suddenly, they will be told what the ceiling is actually made from which has no doubt provided some squeals of amazement and even horror.

Buprestidae-beetle-ceiling-royal-palace-belgiumYou can see more of this artist’s work on his website found here: The website of Jan Fabre.