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Belgium: Waterloo monuments restored

29.04.2015 - Article

On 24 April, two of the four German Waterloo monuments to have been restored to their former glory – the Lion of Brunswick and the Hanoverian Monument – were unveiled during an official ceremony. The renovation has thus been completed in time for the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

On 24 April, two of the four German Waterloo monuments to have been restored to their former glory – the Lion of Brunswick and the Hanoverian Monument – were unveiled during an official ceremony. The renovation has thus been completed in time for the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 2015.

The Lion of Brunswick
The Lion of Brunswick© Folkert Herlyn

The funding for the restoration was provided by the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office and the Walloon heritage protection authority, Patrimoine. Funding also came from donations from the public. As the German Ambassador to Belgium, Eckart Cuntz, underlined, the restoration of the two monuments is thus “a unique German-Belgium, public-private” cultural preservation and commemoration project.

Joint commemoration welcomed

UK Deputy Head of Mission Katrina Johnson, German Ambassador Dr Eckart Cuntz, Mayor Laurence Rotthier of Lasne and French Ambassador Bernard Valero
UK Deputy Head of Mission Katrina Johnson, German Ambassador Dr Eckart Cuntz, Mayor Laurence Rotthier of Lasne and French Ambassador Bernard Valero© Folkert Herlyn

The Lion of Brunswick monument in the municipality of Genappe is dedicated to the memory of Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, who was killed on 16 June 1815 at the crossroads of Quatre Bras while fighting against French cuirassiers. During the ceremony, both German Ambassador Cuntz and the mayor of the municipality of Genappe, Gérard Couronné, emphasised how grateful they were that the countries that fought in the Battle of Waterloo can now commemorate the bicentenary together in the united and peaceful Europe of today.

After giving short speeches, the German Ambassador, his French counterpart Bernard Valero, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy, Katrina Johnson, and the Mayor of Genappe laid a wreath together at the monument.

Re-inauguration of the monuments for the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo

View towards the Lion’s Mound
View towards the Lion’s Mound© Folkert Herlyn

The ceremony continued at the second newly restored Waterloo monument, the Hanoverian Monument in the municipality of Lasne, which commemorates the fallen officers and enlisted men of the King’s German Legion, a German military unit that served in the British Army from 1803 to 1819. Most of its soldiers came from the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, which was linked by personal union to the British royal family in what was known as the Electorate of Hanover. The representatives of the three embassies, the municipality of Lasne and the King’s German Legion also laid wreaths at the Hanoverian Monument in memory of the soldiers who died in 1815.

Further information (in German) on the restoration of the Lion of Brunswick and the Hanoverian Monument is available on the website of the German Embassy in Brussels at

www.bruessel.diplo.de

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