Much ado about a paper statue

14th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

A statue by illegitimate daughter of King Albert was moved to make way for princess’s visit to seaside town.

14 April 2008

KOKSIJDE - Once again, Delphine Boel, the illegitimate daughter of King Albert is at the centre of media attention.

Days after the publication of her book in which she openly discusses her troubled relationship with her father, it is now one of her statues that is causing a fuss.

Made of papier-mâché, "The royal sacred four-legged monster" represents a bed at the far end of which a crowned pig and cow are sitting.

The statue is one of Boel's earlier works and dates back to the period when most of her work was centred on the ridicule of Belgium and the Belgian royal institutions as a whole.

Acquired by the seaside town of Koksijde in 2004, it was given a prominent position in the town hall.

In view of an official visit by Princess Astrid, daughter to King Albert and Queen Paola and also half-sister of Boël, to the town of Koksijde this week, the town council decided to move the statue to a more inconspicuous spot.

According to mayor Marc Vanden Bussche the decision to do so was solely taken by the town council. He strongly denies that there was any pressure whatsoever from the Palace in Brussels.

“The Palace had nothing to do with this. It was our own decision. We were just in need of some extra space."

"And after all, when your new girl friend comes to dinner, you also discreetly remove the pictures of the old one, don’t you”, he explains smilingly.


Jan Loones, Flemish nationalist and alderman for Culture in Koksijde has a different view on things.

He believes the town council succumbed under the pressure of the local Queen Elisabeth rehabilitation clinic which celebrates its 50th anniversary this week and still has strong ties with the royal family.

“It is plain obvious the royal family is behind this. The work dates from a period when Boel was very critical of her native country. Let’s be honest, our town hall is a very big one. There was plenty of space to receive the Princess without having to move the statue to a dark corner.”

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