Share article:
Share article:

‘Crook’: Julius Caesar statue vandalized in Flanders

Credit: Wikipedia

The vandalism of several statues in Flanders has left locals questioning the motivations of the damage, after a statue of Julius Caesar – not Leopold II – was defaced over the weekend. 

The statue of Caesar in Velzeke, in Zottegem (East Flanders), was damaged during the night of Saturday to Sunday, with the word ‘krapuul’ (crook) scrawled on the base of the statue. The spear that Caesar held in one hand was also torn off.

An investigation has been opened into the vandals. “We will estimate more precisely on Monday the extent of the damage and the repairs to be carried out. These will be at the expense of the perpetrators,” said Mayor Jenne De Potter (CD&V).

A kilometre further on, marble statues in the garden of the cloister of Saint-Antoine were also damaged, potentially by the same individuals.

Related News

It is not yet clear whether there is a link with the wider backlash that started in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, but Zottegem has said it does not assume a connection to wider actions across Belgium. 

Within Belgium, there has been a particular focus on depictions of King Leopold II, who declared himself sole owner and ruler of the Congo Free State in the late 1800s, brutalising Congolese people to extract resources from the colonised territory for his personal gain.

Extensive accounts and records of forced labour and systemic brutality characterised Belgium’s occupation and rule over the Congo, with millions estimated to have died as a result of the country’s colonial exploits.

In the past weeks, statues of the king have been removed from public spaces across the country, following backlash and vandalism as anti-racism protests build momentum across the world.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

‘More concern and false impressions’: colds are not worse than before, experts say
While it seems like cold viruses are hitting especially hard this autumn, with more severe and longer-lasting symptoms, doctors are saying that this ...
More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...