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

Belgium main EU importer of kangaroo meat after cruel hunting
A recent Australian report discloses cruel hunting of kangaroo whose meat and skins are exported to among others EU member states. The report, ...
EU recognises UK Covid pass as ‘equivalent’ to EU Digital Covid Certificate
On Thursday, the European Commission adopted two new decisions certifying that the Covid-19 passes issued by the United Kingdom and Armenia are ...
Antwerp’s first garden street officially opens this weekend
Antwerp's very first "Garden Street" – which replaces tarmac roads with green spaces – will officially open this weekend. Situated on Lange ...
Belgium relaxes testing rules for UK travellers
At the Consultative Committee meeting on Tuesday, the Belgian authorities decided to relax the testing policy for travellers entering the country ...
Far-right MP calls for resistance against CST and face masks
Companies in Flanders should disobey the newly announced measures, according to Flemish group leader of the far-right Vlaams Belang party, Chris ...
How a clever cycling network brings bikers to Flanders
Belgium has always had a special relationship with cycling, but a clever Flemish system of route nodes makes it easier than ever. As Daniela De ...
Brexit fishing conflict escalates: France to adopt retaliatory measures
The conflict between France and the UK over fishing licences post-Brexit continues to escalate. France is set to adopt retaliatory measures ...
Mandatory from Monday: the new rules for Belgium’s Covid Safe Ticket
From Monday 1 November, presenting the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in all hospitality businesses and fitness centres throughout ...
Car falls off opening bridge in Leuven, parents and child slightly injured
On Wednesday afternoon, a young family experienced the fright of their lives in Leuven when the bridge across the Vaartkom that they were driving on ...
Brussels and Wallonia once again dark red on European travel map
The Brussels-Capital Region and Wallonia have turned dark red in the latest update to the travel map by the European Centre for Disease Prevention ...
Belgium in Brief: What Now?
We've had the meeting, we know the results, and now the time has come to see what happens next. So I find myself wondering a simple question: ...
Floating solar farm to be built along Ostend coast next year
Dutch company Oceans of Energy has announced plans to construct a solar farm off the coast of Ostend next year that should eventually provide enough ...