Nicolas Sarkozy has a leopard-print pair on his head. Vying with the former French President is Mao Tse-tung, sporting fetching pink lace lingerie in place of a hat. But one attraction of the small but infamous De Dolle Mol pub in Brussels is apparently missing: the mayor’s underpants.
While Sarkozy and Mao’s unusual headgear is part of an artwork, mayor Yvan Mayeur’s pants were the real thing, one of many pairs donated by Brussels’ great and good to the Musée du Slip. While the main display of boxers, Y-fronts and other assorted knickers are on show in a room upstairs from the drinkers in the De Dolle Mol, some are hung in the pub itself.
Now Mr Mayeur’s pants have vanished, leaving the pub’s owner Jan Bucquoy – a noted Brussels anarchist and artist – mystified. “We only noticed the theft last Sunday,” he said. “The underpants were exhibited in the pub. It’s a lot easier to steal the pants there than in the museum on the first floor that is only open on Sunday afternoons.”
The pants were reportedly one of the most popular attractions, and bore the signature of the mayor himself. Other luminaries who have kindly given up their underwear include the foreign minister, Didier Reynders, and the singer Plastic Bertrand.
Mr Bucquoy has promised beer to the thief if the pants turn up. If the promise of alcohol does not work, he says he has no qualms in asking Mr Mayeur for another pair of pants to display.