Sint-Niklaas is a slightly sad city. An enormous shopping mall on the edge of town has sucked the life out of the city. Many of the shops are abandoned. But the city is now trying to win people back with various projects including an ambitious street art trail featuring more than 30 works dotted around the streets.
The trail includes three works by the acclaimed Ghent street artist ROA. His beautifully-rendered sleeping animals have appeared in cities across the globe from London to New York. Some years ago, he painted a wall next to Sint-Niklaas’ public library and another in a hidden square near the Grote Markt.
His latest work, completed this year, has transformed the ugly back wall of a sport centre near the station. The work features four sleeping animals that rest on concrete elements of the building.
It’s worth getting hold of the Sint-Niklaas street art map (available at the new city tourist office) to track down these stunning works.
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.