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Public Art in Antwerp

Antwerp is a city in Belgium and the capital of the Antwerp province of Flanders. According to folklore the city got its name from a mythical giant called Antigoon. This nasty giant would demand a toll from anyone wanting to cross the river. Refusal resulted in the unfortunate traveler having his hand chopped off and thrown in the river Scheldt. Antigoon eventually met his match, when a young hero named Brabo confronted the giant and chopped off his hand and flung it in the river. Hence Antwerpen (Dutch for hand werpen) , “ant” meaning hand and “werpen” (wearpan) meaning “to throw”. There is a statue of Brabo throwing  Antigoon’s hand outside the Antwerp town hall and on Meir Street there is a giant stone hand. Antwerp had an artistic reputation in the 17th century, based on its school of painting, which included Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens and many others.

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