Sam – the plastic horse dressed as a zebra – will be allowed to remain in place after a campaign to prevent his eviction from the Brussels Midi Station proved successful. At the end of March, the British sandwich chain Pret A Manger had announced that there was no place for Sam in its new premises on the former site of Sam’s cafe.
This dismissal caused an uproar from those opposed to the eviction of the elegant equine. To many, Sam was an important meeting place in a difficult to navigate station, a Brussels landmark, or a welcome sight in his position opposite the Eurostar terminal.
“It’s basically the equivalent of Le Pain Quotidien setting up in Paddington Station and taking the statue of Paddington Bear down because it doesn’t fit their corporate image. It’s an outrage,” said Alan Beattie, a Brussels based writer, to local media.
The Midi mascot proved so popular that a petition against his removal eventually gathered more than 1,000 signatures, and swayed Pret towards letting him stay.
“We’ve listened to feedback, and I’m really pleased to announce that Sam the Horse-Zebra will join the Pret team at Gare du Midi station, helping to welcome new customers to the shop,” said Michael Haley, Partnerships Managing Director at Pret to local media.