Category Archives: statue

Manneken-Pis and the Order of the Brussels Moustache

The Manneken-Pis, a 17th-century bronze statue of small boy is an iconic symbol of Brussels folklore which dresses up in costume during festivals and major events. Today was meant to celebrate the election of the most beautiful Moustache of Brussel but it had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Men of the Order of the Brussels Moustache

The idea of the competition and the order was started a little over a decade ago in 2009 at the initiative of the former mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, who always sported a mustache. Initially, the competition took place in Les Marolles neighborhood. Today, internet users can also vote for the prettiest mustache.

Manneken-Pis in the Order of the Brussels Moustache

Only on This 25 April 2021, from 9 am to 6 pm, Manneken-Pis will be sporting his costume of the Order of the Brussels Moustache.

Location: Corner Rue du Chêne & Rue de l’Étuve, Brussels, Belgium

Leopold II & Baudouin statue vandalized in Brussels

The statue of King Leopold II riding proudly on his horse at Place du Trône, just steps away from the Royal Palace has been once again vandalized and spray-painted with various tag lines. Prominently across the King’s chest, we could see a big “Pardon”. Other messages read “Fuck racism” or “This man killed 15 Million people”, a “BLM” in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, was also found on the base of the statue. This is the same effigy of the King that had already been targeted Sunday, June 7 after the march against racism organized in front of the Law Courts of Brussels.

King Leopold statue vandalized with tags and paint

The hands of Leopold II on his horse were symbolically painted red in reference to the blood that the king had on his hands for crimes perpetrated against the native population during the Congolese Colonial era.

Photo of King Leopold statue defaced and tagged with big sorry across his chest

The words “Pardon’ written by the vandals Across his chest and “Racism” on his Horse

Additional  tags such as “King Assassin”, “fuck u” or “no justice, no peace” were also tagged on the base of the monument to King Leopold

Additional tag-phrases such as “King Assassin”, “fuck U” or “No justice, No peace” were also spray painted on the base of the monument to King Leopold in Place du Trône.

A statue of Leopold II vandalized in the garden of the Museum of Africa

Another statue of Leopold II had also been similarly targeted in the gardens of the Museum of Africa just on the outskirts of Brussels in the municipality of Tervuren.

The same modus operandi, using red paint to deface Leopold II. Under the statue, surrounded by animals and native congolese, is spray painted the word “FDP”. An acronym for “Son of a bitch” in French.

King Baudouin statue vandalized with red paint

But the vandalism didn’t end with King Leopold II, statues of other Belgian monarchs such as the the King Baudouin were also defaced with red paint in front of the Cathedral of Saint Micheal and Gudule, right in the center of Brussels.

King Baudouin statue tagged with the words REPARATIONS

The words “Reparations” can be seen tagged on the back of this statue, it was during King Baudouin’s reign in in 1959 that he announced the intention of the Belgian Government to grant independence to the Congo.

Red paint covers the statue of King Baudouin in Brussels

On June 30, 1960, he traveled to the Congo to witnessed the transfer of power in Kinshasa (still called Léopoldville at the time). During this ceremony, the King delivered a speech which was later considered by many to only glorifying the Colonial work and ignore of the wrongdoings committed during the era of Belgian rule in the country.

Léopold II statue defaced in Ekeren

Other statues of the King Léopold II have also been defaced throughout Belgium in the cities of Hal, Ostende and Ekeren as seen in the picture above. Leopold II is criticized for some atrocities that took place in the Congo in the 19th century, when the territory belonged to him personally. The debate on the presence of such monuments in public space, and more broadly on the colonial past of Belgium and the role of the second Belgian sovereign reappears at regular intervals.

Only a very small minority actually support the removal or vandalizing of statues of Leopold II (25% according to the latest polls), but as usual in today’s world, it is more often minorities who dictate their ideology to the majority. The reign of Leopold II corresponds to a period when Belgium is – briefly – the second industrial power in the world and it is during this period of great prosperity, that the King redesigned Brussels and had some of the cities’ biggest landmarks built.

But make no mistake! This is only a small part of their much bigger agenda. In the UK, we’ve seen the venerated Admiral Nelson, winner of Napoleon at Trafalgar being defaced, as well just recently statues of Sir Winston Churchill, the revered icon of WWII.

The choice of the people targeted, even the most illustrious, is secondary. This is not a question of putting words that are unacceptable today in their historical context, but to eradicate a supposed “colonial mentality” still pervasive in the minds of white people.

As I was writing this post, statues of Saint Anthony on the Roman Square had been found with heads severely damaged in Velzeke

Decolonization activists and their new allies of the radical left want to put an end to the West, wipe out it’s history, civilization and what it represents.

Another statue in Belgium today, this time the Roman emperor Caesar was quite damaged. The lance and some fingers that he once held in his right hand was torn off and the authors wrote the graffiti ‘krapuul’ spray painted on the base. The word in Dutch roughly translates into Scumbag

Like in the old days of communism or more theocracies such the Islamic State tried to impose, it is a question of eradicating the old world in order to build a brand new “radicalized” future. Where everyone is labeled under a certain category and views are scrutinized by a thought police and everyone made to conform to the new dogma.

As they say in politics, The road to hell is paved with good intentions. There is no better time than now to pick up and read once more “Brave New World” (Huxley) or “1984” (Orwell) in order to prepare for what’s to come if boundaries are not set now.

Bust of  Lieutenant General Émile Storms splashed with  red paint in the square de Meeus, Brussels
Bust of Lieutenant General Émile Storms splashed with red paint in the square de Meeus in Brussels

Another bust, this time of the Lieutenant General Émile Storms, who acted in Africa as a soldier, explorer and official for the Congolese Free State between 1882 & 1885. Strangely enough he was know for trying to suppress the East African slave trade.

War Pigeons commemorative statue

Belgium is most likely the only country in the world to possess a statute to honor the “pigeon soldat” or soldier pigeon and his contribution during both Great World wars.

Whether released at 500 m or 100 km from home, even in certain cases over 1,500 km, the messenger pigeon has that fantastic ability to always know its way back.This trait was detected a long time ago, notably by Julius Caesar who, during the invasion of Gaul, used homing pigeons to send messages back to Rome to inform headquarters of his campaign’s progress.

On the other hand the Myth of the pigeon that you sometimes see in movies which is released and asked to take a message somewhere and then return, doesn’t exist. The pigeon is only able of returning home. This is why, in order to send a message to several places, pigeons raised at each destination have to be taken out.


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Statue honoring the War Pigeons

Another perspective

The Monument au Pigeon Soldat in it’s entirety


Girls statues outside the EU Charlemagne Building

These Bronzes Statues of young girls are found in front of the Charlemagne building which is one of the many the European Union Institutions of Brussels. They were made by sculptor René Julien in 1998. Located right next to the Shuman subway station at 170 Rue de la Loi.

The set of bronze sculptures in their entirety

The set of bronze sculptures in their entirety

The statue to the right is called L’espérance (Hope)

EU Charlemagne Building statue to the right is called L'espérance (Hope)

L’oiseleuse et La copine au chapeau

L'oiseleuse et La copine au chapeau statue names

I haven’t found any information anywhere about the last two sets