he Royal Commission for Monuments also voted for the creation of a museum to honour Belgium’s greatest painter, in the same way that Nuremberg had its Dürer House, Amsterdam its Rembrandt House and Florence its Michelangelo House.

After unsuccessful negotiations with Americans for the opening of a cinema in 1913, the owner decided to let half of the site for industrial purposes. A quick purchase by the government was countered by the Great War (1914-1918). In 1931 the municipality of Antwerp started the expropriation procedure with the support of the Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites.

In 1936 the Rubens House, the former studio and the garden site were legally protected in accordance with the new Law for the Protection of Monuments and Sites from 7 August 1931. After all, the purchase became a fact in August 1937.