Manneken-Pis, an iconic statue of a urinating boy in the Belgian capital of Brussels, will again don a Hong Kong “costume” on Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Handover.

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels donated the outfit to the city in 2012.

Manneken-Pis. Photo: GovHK.

The statue last featured the costume during the Handover celebrations five years ago.

It will be visible from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the city’s website.

A government press release in 2017 described the outfit. “[A] black traditional Chinese jacket bearing the HKSAR’s flying dragon logo and its coloured ribbons is teamed with a pair of trendy black jeans and red shoes with white laces. A tablet computer, a symbol of technology-driven modern city life, completes the costume,” a spokesperson said, adding that it represented “east meets west.”

The costume was also used in October 2015, during the visit of the then-secretary for commerce and economic development to Brussels.

Manneken-Pis. File photo: Supplied.

Manneken-Pis, a bronze fountain sculpture, depicts a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. Currently, 130 different costumes each year are planned to be featured on fixed dates and he regularly receives new suits. A wardrobe of 900 costumes is kept at a dedicated building in the Museum of the City of Brussels.

An earlier Hong Kong promotion displayed on two of the city’s trams was reportedly axed following complaints about China’s human rights record. Trams bearing the slogan “A New Era – Stability. Prosperity. Opportunity” were meant to promote the Handover festivities around the capital between June 7 and August 29.

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Tom founded Hong Kong Free Press in 2015 and is the editor-in-chief. In addition to editing, he is responsible for managing the newsroom and company - including fundraising, recruitment and overseeing HKFP's web presence and ethical guidelines.

He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He previously led an NGO advocating for domestic worker rights, and has contributed to the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al-Jazeera and others.