(AFP) - Brussels has decided against decorating its iconic Manneken-Pis
statue in a Michael Jackson costume as planned for the 10th anniversary
of the US pop icon's death, officials said Friday.
decision was made in the wake of a new documentary, "Leaving
Neverland", which since its release this year has revived claims the
singer sexually abused children.
city council of Brussels has not been insensitive to the documentary
and has chosen to adopt a cautious position," a spokesperson told AFP.
Brussels' famous Manneken-Pis statue of a nude young boy has been cheekily urinating into a Baroque fountain for 400 years.
is dressed about 130 times a year in various outfits often donated by
organisations or embassies to mark a special occasion or event, such as
the Chinese new year or the start of football's World Cup.
was initially scheduled to dress as Michael Jackson on June 25 on the
initiative of a Belgian fan club, a decision approved by the previous
relaunched the accusations of paedophilia against the pop icon and was
broadcast at the end of March in Belgium.
was the scene of the Marc Dutroux case, a paedophilia scandal that made
headlines around the world and is still in everyone's memory in the
The Belgian criminal was
sentenced to life imprisonment in 2004 for the murder of four young
girls he had previously kidnapped and raped. Two others who were also
raped survived their confinement.
Jackson film fuelled reactions around the world since its broadcast at
the Sundance Festival in January and early March on television in the
has broken streaming records in Britain and prompted radio stations from
Australia to Canada to drop Jackson's music from their playlists.
creators of "The Simpsons" also shelved one of the animated series'
classic episodes because it features Michael Jackson's voice.