Farmers topple statue from John Cockerill monument in Place du Luxembourg

Farmers topple statue from John Cockerill monument in Place du Luxembourg
Protestors brought down a statue from the monument of British industrialist John Cockerill. Credit: Belga

One of the statues surrounding John Cockerill’s monument in Place du Luxembourg in Brussels was brought down during the farmer protests on Thursday.

Belonging to the mechanic Beaufort, the statue had been one of four workers represented around the monument that honours the former Belgian-British industrialist. It was found on the ground among burning pallets.

Ixelles Heritage Councillor, Yves Rouyet, verified the damage. "What happened occurred at around 3 a.m. The police are now reviewing surveillance footage to understand the event," he revealed to Belga, adding that potential legal action could follow.

"We are also checking with local services to see if it’s possible and relevant to secure the statue before the protest ends," Rouyet said.

The Councillor expressed his outrage at the incident, describing it as "an irreparable loss from a heritage point of view and heartbreaking from a symbolic one."

Sculpted by Armand Cattier in 1872, the John Cockerill monument honours one of the pioneers of the steel industry in Belgium, symbolised by the four bronze statues of workers which surround the industrialist.

Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism & Heritage Ans Persoons (Vooruit) also condemned the act. "Cheap vandalism always has a counterproductive effect. Too bad for all the people who came to our city today with the right intentions."

Place du Luxembourg, adjacent to the European Parliament, was where the protest of the agricultural sector was focussed, just on the fringes of an extraordinary European summit.

About a thousand tractors from across the country and other nations, particularly Italy, filled the streets of Brussels, the Brussels-Capital police reported.

Farmers voiced their discontent about trade agreements between the European Union and other countries, bureaucracy, seemingly "unfathomable" European regulations, and the pricing of products for the agri-industry.

Related News

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.