King Leopold II resurrects after demolition works in Ostend

In the Kapellestraat in Ostend, a giant drawing of the Belgian King Leopold II appeared on a wall after a commercial building was demolished. Who depicted the king and when, is not clear.

The alderman of Culture Bart Plasschaert posted a picture of a drawing of King Leopold II on his Facebook page. The image came out after a building was demolished.

"I have no idea who made the drawing", says Plasschaert to VRT NWS. "In the past, there used to be a tearoom with accommodations on the upper floors. It had been empty for a while, so probably that drawing was made a long time ago. I've put the picture on Facebook in the hope that someone might know more about it."

Plasschaert does not intend to take steps to preserve the drawing. "Leopold II is a sensitive topic in Ostend. Already now we have the commotion of his statue.”

Controversial king

Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) reigned as the second king of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909 and became known for the founding and exploitation of the Congo Free State as a private venture. Leopold amassed a huge personal fortune by exploiting the natural resources of the Congo. He remains a controversial figure in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His statue in the capital Kinshasa was removed after independence.