By Monday, more than 1,500 persons had already signed a petition against the erection of a bust of ex-mayor Yvan Mayeur at Brussels City Hall in keeping with a tradition dating back to 1830.The signatories are urging the capital’s aldermen and city councillors not to approve “this odious expense” because of the Samusocial scandal. Mayeur resigned as mayor in June after the management of Samusocial, an agency that helps the homeless, was called into question. He is reported to have received, along with the former director of the agency, Pascale Peraita, two thirds of the budget earmarked for the agency’s administrators in 2014 and 2015.
The author of the petition, which obtained the over 1,500 signatures in two days, says the ex-mayor should not be given a place of honour in City Hall and is asking the Brussels authorities to donate the money set aside for the bust to non-governmental organisations.
In early August, the Brussels Alderman for Heritage, Geoffroy Coomans, had confirmed that the tradition would be followed for Yvan Mayeur, like his predecessors. The marble bust erected for Freddy Thielemans, mayor from 2000 to 2013, had cost 67,000 euros.