Belgian mayor’s heart dug out of fountain during renovation works
Share article:
Share article:

Belgian mayor’s heart dug out of fountain during renovation works

Credit: Christine Magis/Facebook

A Walloon urban legend was confirmed as true on Tuesday after construction workers dug out the heart of the first mayor of the city from a fountain named after him.

Officials in the city of Verviers, east of Liège, said on Tuesday that the heart of the city’s first mayor, Pierre David, was found during renovation works of an eponymous fountain in the city centre.

The discovery on 20 August confirms a years-long urban legend passed down across generations according to which, upon his death, David’s heart was placed inside a fountain built and named after him.

According to the legend, city officials decided to remove his heart when David died at age 58, which was first kept in the town hall and then placed in the fountain upon its completion.

The heart was found inside a rusted metal case which officials said was not opened and will be exhibited in the local fine arts museum until mid-September.

“In the utmost respect and with a lot of professionalism, staff worked to preserve the richness of our patrimony,” local councillor Christine Magis wrote on Facebook, describing how museum workers readied the mayor’s heart to be put on display.

David oversaw city affairs since 1798 and until his death in 1839, first as the highest ranking official in the city and then as mayor after the Belgian Revolution of 1830.

He is credited with bringing peace back into the city after the revolution and with creating the first firefighter corps and secondary school, and his legacy in the city is palpable in busts erected to him and streets named after him.

Residents curious to see the urban legend for themselves can access the exhibition in Verviers’ Fine Arts Museum until 20 September.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...