Pascal Smet (One-Brussels – Flemish socialist), junior minister for urban planning, says the sign is ‘beyond all proportion’. Mr Smet isn’t entirely opposed to neon advertising but believes a debate should be held on what kind of signs will be permitted.
“I’m aware the sign has been there for some considerable time and some people argue it is part of our heritage, but the form this sign takes is certainly not the right one. That’s why we’ve refused to grant a permit.”
“We’re quite prepared to discuss the matter with the City of Brussels. Do we want neon signs on the De Brouckèreplein? If so, what form and style should they adopt? The debate is open, but ahead of any conclusions, we’ve refused the licence. Otherwise we’re stuck with it for another six years.”