In honor of René Magritte, Brussels will rename a street “Ceci n’est pas une rue.”

Alex Wexelman
Aug 23, 2018 2:43PM, via The Guardian
René Magritte
La Trahison des images (The Treachery of Images), 2010
Art Lithographies

This is not a bad homage. Belgian artist René Magritte now has a Brussels street named in tribute to his iconic painting La Trahison des images (1929), which famously proclaims “Ceci n'est pas une pipe” (or “This is not a pipe”) beneath an image of a pipe. A municipal initiative elicited nearly 1,400 suggestions for new street names. “Ceci n’est pas une rue” (“This is not a street”) was one of the proposed street names that were chosen to be implemented, in 2020.

Twenty-eight streets, alleys, squares, and walkways were christened via an internet poll. The final names for the streets surrounding the Tour & Taxis office complex and event space were chosen by a jury of city officials, local heritage experts, and the property development company Extensa.  

Most sites were whimsically named; however, two others have a namesake: Chantal Akerman, the Belgian filmmaker best known for her avant-garde feminist masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles and Isala Van Diest, Belgian’s first female medical doctor. Among the other new street names are homages to Belgian culinary staples French fries and pralines.

Alex Wexelman