I have to admit to a weakness for statues. Where ever I travel, I like to stop and see what statue someone, or perhaps some committee, decided at some time needed to be put up some where. I often find myself puzzled by just what a certain statue is supposed to represent. I suppose now in the age of Google one can instantly find the history of almost any statue anywhere, but I find I enjoy the mystery more than the reality.
A statue costs money, so for one to go up someone has to have put up the cost. Also, a statue requires an artist, so I like to look upon the work of a fellow artist. That artist has to be selected, often by the people putting up the money. Then there is the person, or event, honored by the statue.
Sometimes the statue is just supposed to represent an ideal or aspiration. Just what that ideal or aspiration is, can be very unclear to the viewer.
Brussels, Belgium a city well known for the statue of the Manneken Pis, the
little lost boy eternally peeing on tourists on a busy street corner in Brussels. He’s centrally located right across from a tapestry shop (the prices are inflated there for tourists, there is another smaller shop just off the town square with better prices and friendlier staff). Next to the Manneken Pis is a tacky tourist shop, filled with made in China souvenir playing cards and t-shirts.
Our family always enjoyed getting a bit away from the tourist area. It should be noted that in Brussels you can indeed buy freshly made waffles on street corners. The vendor, usually in a small narrow shop, will freshly made you Belgium waffle, and then top it with dark chocolate syrup and powdered sugar. If you are in a tourist area, the waffle vendor may not make your waffle hot and fresh. The tourists don’t know they are missing half the delight by having their waffles simply pulled from a ready made pile of cold waffles to speed things the process up.
Near one of our favorite waffle shops, where they only make the waffles fresh, is this statue of a man and his rather annoying dog. I could use the internet to figure out just who this statue of a man with an amazing mustache and annoying dog represents. However, it’s much more fun to imagine.
Did this dog save the family from a fire? Was this dog simply rather annoying and so included as the man was famous for writing about his annoying dog? The mustached man doesn’t even seem very fond of the dog. A good statue makes you wonder about the how in the world some committee ever sat in a room and said “Oh this is perfect! The mustached man who hated his dog, so glad we raised all this money so he can live in eternity pushing his little dog away!” Some artist probably submitted this design, and was “Oh hurrah, I thought they might catch on I’m really a cat person, the way I have him pushing that little dog away. Next statue I sculpt will be of a man kicking a dog!”
A short walk from the town tourist area brings the visitor to this delightful park. It’s supposed to represent the different professions of the time, and I found that men were indeed very stylish long ago in Brussels. The capes alone seemed to consist of yards and yards of fabric. It’s a good thing that Belgium has always been known for textiles. These men needed a lot of tailoring. I think RuPaul would enjoy visiting here. These were men who were serious about fashion.
The park is kept up well, so these “men in tights” always look their best. However, one thing they needed was a good cobbler. The cobblers of old Brussels have something to answer for. The footwear of the statues was the ugliest I have ever seen, it’s as if they are all wearing whatever their version of Crocs were. Dashing and heroic in capes and hose, but they are all wearing over sized bedroom slippers.
- When The Foreign Is Too Familiar (Picture Prattle) (culturecookies.wordpress.com)
- Warnings, waffles and wee. (hasithasuranee.wordpress.com)
- “Please Do Not Eat Your Waffles In Front of the Window” (farfromhometravels.wordpress.com)
- Manneken Pis (whereintheworldisgwendo.wordpress.com)