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Brussels pays €70,000 to keep container artwork on roundabout

21:19 14/01/2020

One of Brussels' more unusual public artworks - a cargo container on its side in the middle of a roundabout - will remain a permanent feature after the City of Brussels bought it for €70,000.

'The Container' by artist Luc Deleu has occupied the roundabout on Boulevard Pachéco, near the Comic Strip Centre, since 2013, balancing precariously on one of its corners.

Brussels stepped in to buy the artwork after its creator informed them that the City of Antwerp was interested in acquiring the piece.

The purchase has the backing of the city's independent committee of art specialists - including academics and curators - who provide advice on spending on artistic projects in the public space.

"We find it a very valuable work," said Ans Persoons, the Brussels alderwoman for urban planning and public spaces.

"It has its place. This container looks like it will fall. It arouses curiosity, it asks questions about gravity, it challenges. It's not about whether it's beautiful or not beautiful."

Persoons' predecessor, Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène, has been strongly against the artwork. "It makes the boulevard uglier than ever," he said. "It doesn't fit in with the neighbouring buildings. It's badly placed here."

Written by The Bulletin