Brussels battles old prejudices as it frees unloved river from its vault | The Guardian
While Paris’s winding Seine has been an inspiration for some of the greatest works of romantic art and literature, the unloved Senne running through Brussels has been buried away under concrete for the last 150 years, condemned by locals as little more than a sewer and cause of disease and unhappiness.
As a constant flood risk and source of cholera, it was vaulted in, built over and hidden from sight. Now, however, Belgium’s capital is preparing to stage an inauguration ceremony that officials hope will help force a rethink among Bruxellois about their centuries-held prejudices against the waterway.
After the removal of 1,966 tonnes of concrete, a 200-metre stretch of the Senne near the Buda suburb in north Brussels will be formally opened to the elements, with new banks constructed in part from the rubble of its former tomb.