Who owns the real Manneken Pis?

Everybody knows the world famous peeing statue of "Manneken Pis" in Brussels, but did you know there are actually two of them?


There is a still a dispute between the cities of Geraardsbergen and Brussels, which revolves around the question of who now possess the oldest "Manneken Pis" statue. The question is not easy to answer. The age of the existing ones of both "Manneken Pis" in Brussels and the one in Geraardsbergen is almost similar because they are both replicas. The one in Brussels dates back to 1965 and the one of Geraardsbergen to 1985. In both cases, the 'original' is stored elsewhere. The Brussels statue made by "Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder" dates from 1619 and is stored in the Brussels Bread House on the Grand Place.

The original statue of Geraardsbergen from 1459 got lost but in the nearby museum "De Permanensje" there is a copy, however, that one dates from the 18th century. The "Manneken Pis" design in Geraardsbergen dates from 1459 and predates the Brussels design by "Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder" from 1619. This is the basis of the city of Geraardsbergen claim that their "Manneken Pis" is older than the Brussels one. But in Brussels there was prior to the statue of "Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder" even talk of a "Manneken Pis", the name "Manneken Pis" already arises in 1452 in some Brussels documents. Even in 1388 there was already a statue with that name at the current location, but it is not certain how this looked like.

Conclusion? The tradition of "Manneken Pis" in Brussels is older than the one in Geraardsbergen. However, the design of the statue of Geraardsbergen is older than the Brussels one. On the other hand the Geraardsbergen original has been lost which leaves Brussels having the oldest till remaining Manneken Pis.

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