Manneken Pis “worst monument”
Manneken Pis, the cheeky little chap relieving himself on a pedestal in central Brussels, is the world’s most disappointing monument, according to Australian travel writer Ben Groundwater
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald blog “The Backpacker”, Groundwater describes Manneken Pis as “Worst National Monument” before commenting, “OK, maybe it’s not the national monument, but come on...Oh look, it’s a boy having a wee, and, um ... right, let’s go to the pub”.
“It’s one of the major tourist attractions in your country,” Groundwater claimed. “but it’s also one of the biggest disappointments for backpackers, particularly because it’s so small. Most backpackers write to me that they have to go and wash away their disappointment in a nearby bar, where the Belgian beer never disappoints.”
Edmond Vandenhaute, president of the Order of the Friends of Manneken Pis, understands Groundwater’s disappointment. “It goes back 200 years,” he explains, “when a group of women came over from England especially to see Manneken Pis. They noted their disappointment thus: ‘Did we really come so far just to see such a little boy?’ ”
However diminutive he may be, Manneken Pis continues to attract homage from the highest places. Last week Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, delivered a new costume to add to Manneken Pis’ collection of nearly 850. And the embassy of Malta, also diminutive but feisty, connected the boy up to pee Cisk lager, produced in Malta, which they handed out free to passers-by. There were no complaints from any Aussies present.