Hidden Belgium: The Man in the Hat

Hidden Belgium: The Man in the Hat

A bronze sculpture of a sitting man wearing a hat is placed on a breakwater at Knokke beach. As the tide comes in, this sad, solitary figure is slowly submerged until nothing is visible except his hat.

The work is by Jean-Michel Folon, who spent his summers as a child at Knokke.

The figure on the beach, created in 1997, somewhat resembles the fictional Inspector Maigret. There is also a hint of Magritte.

The title comes from an essay by Marguerite Yourcenar titled, ‘Time, That Great Sculptor’. It could hardly be more Belgian.

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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