Sculpture Saturday: Mons, Belgium

Just behind the Town Hall in Mons, lies the Jardin du Mayeur (the Mayor’s Garden) a little haven of tree-lined peace right in the heart of the city. It was designed between 1930 and 1936 and was once a private garden but is now a park accessible to all.

Apart from the design and the century-old trees including copper beeches, lime trees, paulownia, horse-chestnut trees and other attractive plants, it contains Gober’s sculpture called The Ropieur (1937). The “Ropieur” (cheeky Mons street urchin) represents a child who splashes the water of its fountain on the passers-by, symbolising the rebellious attitude of the town’s children.

The Ropieur, Mons

Also in the garden is also a bust of Marcel Gillis, singer, poet and painter and the town’s favourite son. The sculpture is by Raoul Godfroid (1896-1977), also Belgium.

Marcel Gillis, Poet & Painter, Mons

The sculpture features a triangular rock with the bust of Gillis attached to the front. Under-neath the bust and etched on the rock is the name of the artist, his dates of birth and death, and his surname, etched to match his signature.