Radio 2

Flanders’ first "onument" unveiled in Kortrijk

The first “onument”, a circular monument to remember people that have passed away, was unveiled in the West Flemish city of Kortrijk on Sunday. The “onument” has been constructed in memory of those that have died of COVID-19. It provides a place for those that have lost loved ones during the pandemic to visit and reflect on their loss. 

The “onument” is situated on the Lange Munt in Kortrijk. It is a broken cercle on which people can sit and reflect on lost family, friends, neighbours and colleagues or lay flowers in their memory. It is the first of its kind in Flanders. The letter O in the word “onument” represents the monument’s circular shape and is meant to be a symbol of connectedness.

The landscape architect Bas Smet that designed the onument in Kortrijk, already designed and built a remembrance monument for the victims of the 2016 Brussels terror attacks. This monument stands in the Zoniënwoud forest. 

He has also designed several more “onuments” that will be put into place at several locations across Flanders. The Flemish Interior Minister Bart Somers (liberal) has made 75,000 euro available to help pay for the “onuments”. The idea for the circular remembrance monuments comes from the psychiatrist Uus Knops of the Moving Closer collective. 

The Federal Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden (Flemish Christian democrat)  was also present at Sunday’s unveiling. 

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