Monday, 25 May 2020
Brussels’ emblematic Manneken Pis statue has donned a rainbow mask to commemorate the Belgian Pride Parade, one of the many mass events cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The statue of the small peeing boy awoke surrounded by a flurry of colours on Saturday, date when the 25th edition of the parade was set to march through the streets of the Belgian capital.
After first being postponed to late August, lockdown regulations and a ban on mass gatherings led organisers to pull the plug on the parade, a lively event which draws thousands to Brussels each year to celebrate the LGBTI+ community.
To go with the rainbow face mask, a little outfit by French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier featuring wide black breeches and a horned knit hat was selected for the occasion out of thousands of other outfits in the Manneken Pis’s wardrobe.
🏳️🌈 Ce 23 mai, nous aurions dû célébrer l'amour sous toutes ses formes avec @TheBelgianPride. Mais le coronavirus en a décidé autrement… Pour fêter quand même cette 25ème édition, #MannekenPis a revêtu son costume créé en 2015 par @JPGaultier ! #pride #onelove #LGBTQIA #Brussels pic.twitter.com/bw1APzwRvW
— Delphine Houba (@DelphineHouba) May 23, 2020
Brussels City councillor for events and tourism, Delphine Houba, marked the celebration of “all forms of love” at the weekend by paying a visit to the small statue on Saturday, flanked by representatives of non-profits Rainbow House and Pride.
“[Today], we should have celebrated all forms of love with Belgian Pride, but the coronavirus had other plans,” she wrote on a Twitter post.
This year, the theme of the parade was set to revolve around health, with Houba saying the parade aimed to raise awareness over the physical, mental and social health of the community.
“There is still work to be done to improve health care for transgender people, to fight against the loneliness of senior citizens and to drastically reduce suicidal thoughts, it’s a daily fight,” she wrote on Facebook.
The parade’s organisers said that the decision to cancel had not been an easy one, and adding that the 2021 edition of the event would be coming back in full swing.
The Brussels Times