Hidden Belgium: The Congo Monument in Tervuren Park

Hidden Belgium: The Congo Monument in Tervuren Park

There are plenty of monuments to the Congo in Belgium. Most are relics of colonial history. But the sculptor Tom Franzen has installed an affectionate statue called The Congo I Presume in a quiet corner of Tervuren Park, just outside Brussels.

It was unveiled to mark the one hundredth anniversary of King Leopold’s 1897 Congo exhibition. The figures include Leopold, three Congolese warriors and a flock of flamingos.

Franzen created a second sculpture in 2005 in the middle of a roundabout in front of the former Congo Museum. Titled The Bandundu Water Jazz Band, it features animals playing instruments as jets of water rise in the air.

You can track down a third Franzen sculpture hidden in a doorway on the Kerkstraat. This one represents the artists of the School of Tervuren whose works once hung in a museum on this spot.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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