Big freeze stops famed Brussels statue from peeing

BRUSSELS Wed Feb 1, 2012 12:47pm EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Manneken-Pis, a bronze statue of a young boy urinating that is a symbol of Brussels and a major tourist attraction, has had to stop peeing because of sub-zero temperatures, Belgium's tourist office said on Wednesday.

Officials turned off the flow of water through the statue, which has stood on a Brussels corner since the 1600s, out of concern the cold might damage its internal mechanism.

Temperatures in the Belgian capital were set to fall to minus 10 Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) Wednesday night, far below the average minimum for February.

"It all depends on the weather, if the temperatures go up again it will work again," a tourist office spokeswoman said.

The statue, which is on the site of a 15th Century drinking fountain, has more than 800 specially made outfits which city officials use to dress it up during the year. It is one of Brussels' most popular attractions.

For more information about the statue and to see pictures: here

(Reporting By Ben Deighton; editing by Luke Baker)

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