The Belgian city of Brussels has cancelled its plans to dress one of its most famous landmarks, the Manneken Pis statue, as Michael Jackson.
The 400 year-old statue depicts a small boy urinating into a fountain, and is considered one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
Plans to dress the statue as Jackson, which were initiated by the late musician’s Belgian fan club, were cancelled after historic child abuse accusations resurfaced in the recent documentary Leaving Neverland. The Jackson estate have denied all the allegations.
The event was due to take place on June 25, ten years since Jackson’s death aged 50 in 2009, as part of a six-hour ceremony at Brussels City Hall. The decision had originally been approved by the city’s previous administration.
A spokesman said: “The city council of Brussels has not been insensitive to the documentary and has chosen to adopt a cautious position.”
Officials were due to formally receive a miniature sequinned jacket, black trousers, trilby hat and single white glove with which to dress the statue.
The Michael Jackson costume will be “administratively received” because it has already been made, but will not be put on the statue, and will not be part of a museum where 1,025 pieces of clothing tailored to fit the statue are held.
The Manneken Pis, known by locals as the ‘little pisser’, wears a variety of costumes to mark holidays and events. In 2017 it was dressed as a firefighter in tribute to the emergency services who responded to 2016’s terrorist attacks in Belgium.