March 22, 2016 10:23 am
Updated: March 22, 2016 12:06 pm

Brussels attack: How the famous ‘Mannekin Pis’ statue has become a symbol of strength

WATCH: Deadly explosions rocked the Brussels airport and its subway system Tuesday. As the news of the attack spread, caricatures and cartoons poured in on social media to mourn those who lost their lives in the fatal explosions.


Anyone who has visited Brussels knows Mannekin Pis is one of the city’s most iconic attractions.

The statue – which depicts a little boy urinating into the fountain basin below – may come off as strange to visitors, but the historical statue has become somewhat of an unofficial mascot of the Belgian capital. In fact, the city of Brussels describes Mannekin Pis as “the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the City of Brussels.”

LIVE COVERAGE: Brussels on lockdown after explosions rock airport, subway

But, in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack, Mannekin Pis has become a symbol of strength and defiance against terrorism.

“To those who want to frighten us, here is our answer,” wrote one Twitter user, sharing a close-up image of the urinating statue.

“Manneken Pis is the symbol of the rebellious spirit of #Brussels. This Manneken will not stop pissing,” said another user.

“Mannekin Pis on your bombs,” reads the translation of this tweet.

Mannekin Pis, located near the city’s Grand Place, dates back to the Seventeenth Century. The statue even survived the bombardment of Brussels in 1695, when French troops bombed the city centre, destroying the Grand Place.

READ MORE: #JeSuisBruxelles: Support pours in on social media in wake of Brussels attacks

Since becoming a beloved symbol of the city, Manneken Pis is often dressed for special occasions. He now has a wardrobe of over 900 suits.

"22/03/2016 – Belgique" #illustration #belgique #résistance #attentat #attaque #terrorisme #mannekenpis #peace

A post shared by Victoria Kerner (@victoriakerner) on

In a show of solidarity for those affected by Tuesday’s deadly attacks, some have been changing the name of the attraction to “Manneken Peace” on social media.


A post shared by Majka Majewska (@majamaj0613) on

© 2016 Shaw Media

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