After nearly 10 years away, the famous statue of St. Nicholas has regained its place overlooking the Grand-Place of Brussels. More precisely, its exact copy has just been installed -the completely restored original has meanwhile found refuge in the church of St. Nicholas.
It was removed from Fox House, at No. 7 of the Grand Place in 2008 by the CBC for security reasons. In 2011, the statue was then subject to an extensive preliminary study, concluding that the deteriorating state of the St. Nicholas no longer allows the statue to be exposed outside. “Keeping it in place would further exacerbate its state of conservation and present too much risk to bystanders,” the study read. It was therefore agreed to make a copy of the bronze of the great Saint and to restore and conserve the original.
The statue represents a standing St. Nicholas, leaning with one hand on the stock and blessing three small children at his feet. Saint-Nicolas is considered the patron of the Mercies, a corporation owning the house since 1641.
The historical study reveals that a first statue of St. Nicholas adorned the façade of number 7 from 1737; however, it would have disappeared and would have been replaced by a new statue as soon as the restoration work of the Grand Place began in 1883. It is this last version which stood on the gable of the House of the Fox before its dismantling in 2008