At 25 years old, instead of painting full-time Van Gogh was working as an evangelist amongst coalminers in Borinage, Belgium. There, Van Gogh lived in a local familyâ€™s house, this house is currently in a desperate state of disrepair and in danger of collapse. The local authorities are taking measures to secure the historic building by arranging a compulsory purchase of the building on grounds of neglect. Their plan is to restore it as a vistor entre for a re-opening in 2015.
Van Gogh arrived in Borinage in December 1878. His time in the area was a life of severe poverty. During this time he had begun to draw, and six drawings from Borinage survive. After two years as a preacher, Van Gogh left Borinage for Brussels to get back to drawing.
The small house is marked with a commemorative plaque, but having been unoccupied for almost two decades with windows boarded up, it is unrecognizable as a building of interest. Therefore, it is a great relief that the authorities have began the process of purchasing the house and restoring it.