Why Brussels is obsessed with a peeing child
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This is a Student Travel Writer 2018 competition entry
Lighters with peeing children. T-shirts with peeing children. Mugs, ash-trays, plates, bags, badges, pencils, stencils… step into the city of Brussels and this peeing kid is ridiculously everywhere. Manneken pis, meaning "Little man Pee" in Dutch, is in fact Brussels’ symbol, as a result of a landmark bronze statue of a 61cm child urinating in a basin. Situated in the back alleys of the main square, Grand Place, the figure was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder in 1618 and ever since, although stolen and replicated several times, it has been a mascot for the town. Every week the statue is dressed in costume on differing days, whether it’s an organ builder costume, a gangster costume, a sailor costume or a musketeer, according to a schedule published on the structure of the fountain. The tales told regarding such symbolic being are multiple and all credible in differing ways.
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In order to provide no entrant with an unfair advantage, Student Travel Writer 2018 competition entries are edited for grammar only - stylistic choices and headlines are solely the work of the writer in question and not of The National Student's editorial staff.