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An ode to Walter De Buck in the streets of Ghent

12 May 2017Walter De Buckplein

On Wednesday 10 May, the Mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, officially inaugurated Walter De Buckplein at St James’ Church. A large part of the Bij Sint-Jacobs square is now named after the Ghent-born artist and troubadour.

Walter De Buck is a legend in the City of Ghent. In 1962 the Ghent-born sculptor and folk singer founded the non-profit organisation Trefpunt vzw with some friends. It was a meeting place for artists and an organisation for the promotion and dissemination of art. Today, it organises the Ghent Festivities.

In Ghent he will always be remembered as a popular figure who loved the city and the Ghent Festivities, which he breathed new life into from 1969 onwards. He’s known both in and outside the city for the folk song ‘’t Vliegerke’ from 1971.

At the Bij Sint-Jacobs square, which hosts a flea market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, there is also a statue by Walter De Buck. He created the statue Den Gentschen Béranger as an ode to the 19th-century Ghent-born folk singer Karel Waeri.

Opposite St Nicholas’ Church, on the stepped gable of the Masons’ Guild Hall, there are another six of the artist’s bronze statues, the ‘Morris dancers’ – two gods and below the devil with his partner, and below that a man and a woman.

Walter De Buck died in 2014 aged 80.

Walter De Buckplein
Walter De Buckplein