'Renée' – Leuven, Belgium - Atlas Obscura

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This statue of a studious young woman stands at the site of Leuven's first college to accept female students. 


Leuven is a student city, dotted with university buildings throughout. This closeness to student life has inspired much of the art in the city, including the famous statue of Fonske, who pours knowledge or beer into his head. Not far from Fonske stands another statue of a student, this one a young woman. 

The statue depicts a fictional girl named Renée, who is made to represent the other side of student life. While Fonske is a silly, loud, and playful lad who enjoys his time as a student perhaps too much, Renée is a serious and dedicated student, shown carrying books and probably heading either to class or the library to study.

The statue was donated by and named after René Depret, an honorary citizen of the city to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the traders union. It was created by Armand Loveniers and placed in 1997. The location was chosen because the street that  Renée stands on is the location of the first college in the city to accept female students.

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