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Manneken Pis dresses as 'Covid Boy' for first anniversary of lockdown

10:55 18/03/2021

Manneken Pis has dressed up today in a full Hazmat suit bearing the city logo, hospital slippers, an FFP2 mask, red gloves, a belt and a small bag containing a gel dispenser and a yardstick, on the one-year anniversary of the Belgian coronavirus lockdown.

The statue is paying homage to the Covid Boys, a self-proclaimed Sanitary Militia who patrol public areas and use humour to help people stick to the rules during the pandemic. This is his first new costume of 2021 and his 1,054th in all.

“The Covid Boys have understood that it is through humour that we can make Brussels residents aware of the need to respect health measure,” said Delphine Houba, alderwoman for culture, tourism and major events. "And that is also good for morale, to see that such a crisis can lead to such quirky citizen initiatives.”

She added: “By offering the Covid Boys the opportunity to dress Manneken-Pis, we wanted to thank them for the prevention work they have been performing every day in the field for five months. What we wanted to highlight with this new costume is this action that is truly bearing fruit.”

The initiators of the Covid Boys, Oscar Briou and Grégoire De Vos, said: “We are honoured that Manneken Pis is putting on our costume, because the smallest gestures can extinguish the greatest tragedies and if the city's most important statue can echo what we do, we are convinced that the courage of the people of Brussels will remain engraved in the collective memory.”

Written by Richard Harris