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Heritage group applies for protection of Jeu de Balle

10:59 21/01/2015

Heritage association Pétitions-Patrimoine and Plateforme Marolles, a union made up of the merchants, shopkeepers and residents of Brussels’ Marolles district,  have submitted an application to the City of Brussels for the protection of the square at Jeu de Balle, including its underground war bunker and several surrounding buildings.

According to the association, the area around Jeu de Balle is threatened by the City of Brussels’ plans for an underground carpark on the site. It is requesting official protection of the square, as well as the fire station, the church, the sexton's house, surrounding neoclassical houses and the Second World War bunker under the square, where the carpark is planned.

Pétitions-Patrimoine and Plateforme Marolles were able to collect the necessary signatures for the petition and hand it in on time together with the application to the Brussels government.

Jeu de Balle’s importance in terms of heritage is indisputable, said the association. It has formed the location for a daily flea market since 1873. In addition, the square has changed very little since that time and is a fine example of a typical 19th-century Brussels square.

The government is not obliged to start a protection process. However, heritage minister Rudi Vervoort has already expressed interest in protecting the bunker and has said he would also take into account the rest of the association’s requests.

The government now has four months to decide on the possible launch of the heritage protection process.

Written by Robyn Boyle