Authorities insist Betty the Gnome put her clothes on!

Security officials in the Antwerp town of Turnhout are taking exception to… a naked gnome and are demanding that Betty’s owner either moves her or dresses her.  Louis, Betty’s 85-year-old owner, is having none of it and is sticking to his guns and is refusing to comply with the officials’ request.

The scarcely clad garden ornament is a gift from a neighbour.  Betty’s proud new owner decided to give his new gnome pride of place in his front garden, the home of two other ornamental gnomes.  Municipal security officials, who patrolled Louis’ street this week, told him there was no place for such a creature in his front garden. They argued it could “upset children passing by”.

“I can’t get my head around it: the city authorities have time on their hands to make remarks about my gnome. They have threatened me with legal action.  Dress Betty?  The gnome isn’t made for that!” said the octogenarian.

The garden centre that supplied the gnome too is surprised: “It’s the very first time we hear anything like this! Betty and Raf the Gnome – he was a little willy – are among our best-sellers!  We sell at least two a day!“

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