Let us bring the icon Vaartkapoen back to Molenbeek

Johan Leman, 17 May 2024

Friday 17 May, 16:00 hours. In one week, 545 people have signed the petition to have a small iconic statue put back in its place, once the works on the Place Sainctelette be behind them.

That is one nice number. The initiators would have seen less than 200 sympathizers as a bad result, hoped for 400 and have now already received more than 500. Many thanks to everyone who signed. Denoting such a result is simple: signatories sign because they really share the opinion. And then there are the many young people from Molenbeek who tell me that they have also thought about it, but who have no email address. For authorities it means that many people here have as a point of view that “those from the other side of the canal” would from now on assume that decisions should take into account what is going on in a neighborhood and in its wider district. This kind of top-down decisions and speculating about what is best for the other side of the canal without taking into account its inhabitants, may stop. I suspect that the minister simply had her administration done and did not want such a transfer herself.

Let’s hope that now some authorities are gradually realizing that the district here in Historic Molenbeek also does not want a tower that would be planted on the same corner of Historic Molenbeek and that would deprive the people in the neighborhood of sun and light, all of this – with circumvention of a lot of legally prescribed rules – to please some investors. But that’s another story and I don’t want to confuse the two.