HET ZINNEKE

Smith Journal - - Opinion -

Most coun­tries would count a statue of a uri­nat­ing dog among their more ec­cen­tric call­ing cards. Bel­gium isn’t most places. The head­quar­ters of the Eu­ro­pean Union and NATO is also home to Man­neken Pis, a 1619-era foun­tain of a lit­tle boy piss­ing, and claims to host the world’s heav­i­est cheese statue (weigh­ing in at 1059 kilo­grams). If that’s not enough, there’s also Jean­neke Pis, Man­neken’s fe­male coun­ter­part, and, since 1998, Het Zinneke (some­times called Zinneke Pis), a life-size statue of a dog re­liev­ing it­self on a bol­lard in Brus­sels’ city cen­tre. Un­like its two mic­turat­ing hu­man coun­ter­parts, there’s no foun­tain at­tached to the bronze ca­nine; the act of uri­na­tion is im­plied with a lifted hind leg. Cre­ated by lo­cal sculp­tor Tom Frantzen, it was mod­elled af­ter his own dog, who still roams (and pre­sum­ably uri­nates in) the same neigh­bour­hood. Un­for­tu­nately Het Zinneke suf­fered a nasty fate when a car ran into him in Au­gust 2015 and broke two of his legs. Luck­ily Frantzen was on hand to patch him up and put him back on the same street cor­ner, where he re­ceives mainly lack­lus­tre re­views on Trip Ad­vi­sor.

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