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Friday, August 10, 2007

He's Small, but He Has No Decency!

One of the most beloved landmarks in Brussels is the Manneken Pis—a 24-inch-tall bronze statue of a naked boy peeing. Whom the statue depicts depends on which story you believe.

The most common explanation (and one that is found on a wall plaque near the Pis) is a slightly twisted family story. A man lost his little son in the big city. The man searched high and low, but for two days, his son wasn’t to be found. Then, finally, he found his son — right as the boy was relieving himself on a street corner. So grateful was the man that he commissioned a statue of the boy just as he found him. [Link]
Another possible explanation identifies the boy as two-year-old Duke Godfrey II of Leuven, who was placed in a basket and hung from a tree during a battle in 1142, but managed to repel the enemy forces by tinkling on them.

Yet another version goes like this:
In the 14th century, Brussels was under siege by a foreign power. The city had held their ground for quite some time. The attackers had thought of a plan to place explosive charges at the city walls. A little boy named Juliaanske from Brussels happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city. [Link]
Check out his official website, or this panoramic view of the Manneken, but "Be careful! He's small … but he has no decency!"

Janice

I personally think the Czech peeing statues are impressive... I mean how high tech can you get?

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/09/27/peeing_statues_spell.html

Janice

Chris

Here's a link to that glorious invention. I can do the same thing, but only in the snow after drinking lots of coffee.

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