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Dutch woman leaves €5 million legacy to city of Bruges

09:02 03/10/2022

An anonymous woman from the Netherlands has left €5 million to the city of Bruges out of a love for the city.

The woman had been living in Bruges for eight years until she passed away recently, VRT reports.

Citing a special bond with the Belgian city she called home, the anonymous donor’s gift was readily welcomed by the city council.

“As a city, we sometimes receive donations after deaths, but usually these are smaller amounts or certain goods,” said mayor Dirk De Fauw.

“For example, we recently received a painting with a picture of Bruges. But I have never experienced a donation of this size.”

The donation outlined in her will includes €3.3 million in a savings account, a house, bonds and cash.

The sizeable amount was especially welcomed following the pandemic, which has left many municipalities and cities in difficult financial straits.

“The energy costs for our city buildings, museums, cultural and sports halls are skyrocketing,” De Fauw explained.

“In the will, there is no mention of what we should use the donation for. We will see what the money will be used for but it will be put to a good use.”

While the council may have liked to thank the woman for her donation by naming a street or square after her, the donor explicitly stated that she wished to remain anonymous.

“The Dutch woman must have loved Bruges very much indeed,” alderman for finance Mercedes Van Volcem said. “It is a boost. It’s wonderful when people love our city.”

Written by Helen Lyons