"Tactile River" art work gets thumbs down: "We thought they were working on the sewage system"

"Tactile River" is the name of an art work installed on the Zaterdagplein. It symbolises the river Zenne that runs underneath the city of Brussels, but many local residents are not happy with it.

"Around mid-July, works started here", says local resident Benoît who lives at the site. "We didn't know what it was about... maybe works on the sewage system or whatever. And then it turned out to be a so-called work of art", he told the VRT.  

The work looks like a long stage, about 20 centimetres high, with a long strip in the middle that symbolises the river Zenne, which is hidden underneath the city for a big part. Local residents had not been informed about it, or consulted, and many of them think it's ugly. Lucas says it's inconvenient, because now firefighters can't pass if anything should happen. 

The work will remain in place for 3 months. The artist received 50,000 euros from the city of Brussels for it. Benoît says that the artist came at the site several times to make adjustments, and that the colour was changed.


The Zaterdagplein is located near De Brouckère. We did not receive a reaction from the artist, Benoît Jouvenou, but the work should be at its best during the night, when the central way is illuminated. The LED lights are controlled and synchronised by a computer, which triggers a special effect. 

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