The “Let’s Save the Stock Exchange” petition against a plan to set up a beer temple in the Stock Exchange building in Brussels has obtained more than 2,750 signatures in one week, its initiators announced on Thursday. In late August, the City of Brussels launched a public inquiry into the plan to transform the building into a beer temple in collaboration with AB InBEV, a Belgian-Brazilian industrial beer company. The inquiry ends on Friday and the consultation commission has been scheduled for the 11th of October.
In the petition, the Pentagon Platform, a collective of residents and associations, expresses its opposition to the project. It says the classified, historic building would better suit a project related to the history of the City, a political institution like the Brussels Parliament or a cultural project. The signatories also express their appreciation for the remarkable expositions organized there in recent years.
The Pentagon Platform notes that the citizens’ gatherings held outside the Stock Exchange, from those celebrating the Liberation to those organized in reaction to the recent terror attacks, would lose their symbolic import in front of a beer temple of a touristic and even commercial nature. The petition’s movers also fear the development of a festive tourism with rapidly unmanageable consequences like noise nuisance, including at night, and excesses linked to the consumption and sale of alcohol.
Noting the importance of preserving 19th century architecture, to which the building bears witness, the Platform says creating a new gate on the side facing the Grand-place (Main Square) would do irreversible damage. Nor does it like the idea of big festive terraces on the roof of the building.
As for the golden canopy in the form of a grille, the Platform describes it as a “giant waffle”.