Almost a million to see the Antwerp giants

If you want to see Grandma Giant or the Little Black Giant, it's too late. The creations of the French company Royal de Luxe left the port city after a final stroll on Sunday. Some 900,000 people came to catch a glimpse of them from Friday to Sunday. This success makes it almost sure they will return, possibly in 5 years' time.

It was not the first time the giants visited the port city, after appearances in 1998, 2006 and 2010, each time with different characters. This edition marked the start of the "Summer of Antwerp" that sees various (street) theatre acts and other cultural events this summer.

The city paid 750,000 euros to get the giants to Antwerp. The money was worth it, also considering the success, it is argued by the local authorities. 2010 saw some 800,000 people flocking to the city to see the giants, this edition had some 900,000 visitors. "We spread this budget over different years and reached almost a million enthusiasts with the event. It has a big economic value, with a major return on investment", explains the Antwerp alderman for Culture Philip Heylen.

Heylen says his city "needs an event like this now and then. This is Antwerp at its best. This is in our DNA. I would like to thank the people for the warm welcome they gave the giants." The success means that the giants are bound to come back, possibly in 2020 or maybe earlier.