A monument will disappear from the landscape of Anderlecht. “L’Aube” by the Brussels sculptor Egide Rombaux, dating from 1914, is located on Place Egide Rombaux, just behind the Sporting d’Anderlecht stadium and the Astrid park.
It is a bas-relief, illustrating two nudes symbolizing the first moments of a day, placed on one of the walls of the Joseph Bracops hospital. The hospital wishes to expand and build a new polyclinic at this precise location. The monument will therefore have to be dismantled but will not be preserved. Management: the Museum of Fine Arts, owner of the work.
What frustrates the inhabitants of the district. “Even though I didn’t know what this work meant, I walk past it every day, I see it every day. She’s a pretty work“, indicates Chris. “And it’s a shame that she’s gone. We must keep these old works to remember them.“
“I see her every passing day“, continues Jacques. “Already I find that we do not highlight it, we do not clean it, it is hidden by hedges and ivy. For me, it would be a shame if she left. You have to keep it, that would be good. Possibly on the place Egide Rombaux which bears the name of the artist. Or in the park. In any case, close.“
We could have found another place to put it
Opinions relayed by Gaetan Van Goidsenhoven, municipal councilor MR. “This work is reminiscent of the foliage of ancient buildings. It is a work that is linked to the public space since we are in the square that bears the same name as its author. A fairly well-known author of the late 19th and early 20th century.“We owe him the statue of Gabrielle Petit place Saint-Jeanthe Paul Janson bust at the ULB or the statue of Cardinal Mercier, at the foot of the church of Saints-Michel-et-Gudule.
“When we learn that the municipality wants to repack the monument to the Museum of Fine Arts, we are a little taken aback because we could have found another place to place it. Budgets existed for dismantling. All that was needed was to find a place to restore it and relocate it elsewhere. Symbolically, it hurts my heart“, adds the elected liberal. “Moreover, we see, in its condition, that it is a monument abandoned by the authorities.“
Our finances do not allow us to move the work
Fabrice Cumps (PS), mayor of Anderlecht, assures us: the municipality has done everything to maintain the work in Anderlecht. Even though it is visible from the square, “the artwork is physically on hospital grounds“, he specifies.
“The municipality negotiated so that the work be integrated into the future architectural project. But there was a rejection from the hospital and the architects because, according to them, it did not correspond to the spirit of the new building. We then looked for a place in the public space to move it. But it costs several hundred thousand euros. Our finances do not allow it. This is a considerable amount in times of crisis budgetary. It is also the hospital that will bear most of the dismantling costs.“, i.e. a maximum of 40,000 euros.
Result: the work will return to the museum, which officially owns it. At the time, when the bas-relief arrived in Anderlecht, it was on loan from the museum. “We return the work to the museum hoping one day to find the necessary funds to reinstall it near the square that bears the sculptor’s name. And to tell the truth, when I wrote to the director of the Museum of Fine Arts to announce the return of the work, I indicated that it was death in the soul.“
Gaëtan Van Goidsenhoven proposes for his part a public subscription to find the necessary funds. For the mayor, it is impossible for a subscription to reach the estimated sum.
The dismantling of “L’Aube” should take place at the start of the school year in September…