The Verbeke Foundation, founded by art collectors Geert and Carla Verbeke-Lens, is a private art site which first opened doors to the general public on June 1st of 2007. As a 'refuge of arts' the domain offers chances to young/less renowned artists and holds an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. Culture, nature and ecology go hand in hand in the Verbeke Foundation. With 12 hectares (29.7 acres) of scenic area and 20,000 m² (4,9 acres) covered spaces, the Foundation is one of the largest private initiatives for contemporary art throughout Europe. The warehouses of the former Verbeke transport agency were transformed into unique exposition halls. In January 2008 an artist-in-residence programme was set up. Artists are given the chance to realize works in situ. The Verbeke Foundation provides in a workshop, meals and sleeping accommodation for the residents to fully set themselves on their artistic activities. In future, the Verbeke Foundation wishes to expand the residence programme to artists-scientists who, as part of their stay, can study parts of the art collection and archives.