Brussels: Manneken Pis to wear costume from 'Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez' film

Brussels: Manneken Pis to wear costume from 'Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez' film
The Mannekin Pis in costume. Credit: Belga

It isn't unusual for Belgium's most famous statue, the Manneken Pis in Brussels, to be clothed in different costumes. On June 18, it will wear a costume from 'Gendarme de Saint-Tropez' as the film celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Ahead of the event there will be a parade of characters from selected films that included the starring French actor Louis de Funès. A procession will leave the Grand Hospice in the center of Brussels at 09:00, arriving shortly at the Grand Place where an official ceremony will honour the policewomen of the Brussels-Capital Ixelles zone.

Tourists will have the chance to take pictures with the props from the cult film at 13:30.

Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez was released in September 1964 in France and became a huge box office hit in France.  The actor Louis de Funès was celebrated for his comic talents in the film which went on to gain cult film status in the Francophone world.

The changing costumes of the Manneken Pis

The Manneken Pis is one of the best-known symbols for Brussels and Belgium. Manneken Pis is Dutch for 'Little Pissing Man' and is a landmark sculpture in central Brussels, showing a little naked boy urinating into the fountain's basin. It was designed by the sculptor Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder and finished in 1618 or 1619.

The current statue is replica from 1965, while the original is kept in Brussels City Museum. The Manneken Pis is often cited as an example of 'Belgitude' and Belgian humour. The figurine is dressed in costumes according to a weekly schedule.

Costume changes are performed as part of a ceremony that is often accompanied by brass band music. Previous costumes range from the national dress of other nations to professional uniforms. The Manneken Pis has also worn costumes based on fictional characters such as Dracula, Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus.

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