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Saint-Gilles penis mural painted over

14:54 06/07/2018

It’s a question that has been burning in the minds of Brussels residents and dominated headlines: Who painted over the penis mural?

The (in)famous large-scale street artwork was on the side of a residential building on Avenue Parc, just off the roundabout in Saint-Gilles. It appeared a couple of years ago, seemingly part of a series of works that similarly popped up unannounced across Brussels.

There is an anus wall, a penetration wall and more than one mural of a woman masturbating. All entered the Brussels landscape over the last few years. No one has taken credit for creating the works, but at least one street art expert says that he knows who it is.

All the works have been left alone by both the municipalities and by the owners of the buildings. Until now.

Mixed reactions

The penis wall has been largely covered in white paint, noticed by locals on Wednesday. Both the owner of the property and the mayor of Saint-Gilles confirmed to newspaper Bruzz that they had nothing to do with it.

“But no worries,” said mayor Charles Picqué, “we have enough photos of the penis wall. We even have postcards.”

When the work first appeared in 2016, the municipality told the owner of the flats that he had to bear the cost of removing it. The owner didn’t want to, so it has been there ever since.

Reactions from residents have been mixed, from those who are happy to see the penis no more to those who said they were used to it and don’t understand why someone would cover it up.

The mural, however, has not been completely obliterated; the top portion still remains visible. Did the culprit run out of paint? Was the ladder too short? Did the sun start coming up? The people of Brussels may never know.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw