The 5 most unexpected statues in Bruges
1) Homeless Jesus
A strange sculpture representing a homeless Jesus sleeping on a park bench was placed outside the Magdalenakerk in 2017. It is a copy of a work in Toronto by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz. The Bruges police were alerted soon after the work was unveiled by a local who thought it was a real person.
2) Michelangelo’s Virgin and Child
A tiny sculpture by Michelangelo was brought back to Bruges in 1506 by the merchant Jan Mouscron, who acquired it from a bankrupt Italian. Carved soon after the famous Pietà in Rome, the work illustrates Michelangelo’s soft and serene early style.
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3) De Geliefden
The artist couple Stefaan Depuydt and Livia Canestraro created a bronze statue of two lovers in the centre in Bruges in 2002. Located near the Stadhuis (city hall), where local couples get married, the statue has the word love in many languages etched into the base.
Shaded by trees, a bronze statue represents the girl in Jacques Brel’s beautiful 1961 song Marieke. She was said to live ‘between the towers of Bruges and Ghent’. In 1988, a local journalist persuaded the city to put up this statue of Marieke wearing a summer dress with bells hanging from her ears. Locals sometimes like to dress her in warmer clothes when winter comes around.
5) Onze-Lieve-Vrouw met de Inktpot
A curious statue on the corner of the Stadhuis represents Onze-Lieve-Vrouw met de Inktpot (Our Lady of the Inkwell). She was the patron saint of clerks, and so protected the bureaucrats who worked in the town hall. The statue was carved in the 1960s to replace a lost original.
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