Nello & Patrasche: A story of friendship
This sculpture is an celebration of pure and unconditional friendship. It’s a based on the classic novel ‘A Dog of Flanders’ by Ouida.
Nello and Patrache lie in each other’s arms, the square and cobble stones spread as a blanket over them. The blanket provides protection from the harsh world that has turned away from them. They are absorbed by the street, will quietly disappear. The only thing that will not go away is the friendship they feel for each other. Spectators can literally walk all over them but can’t hurt them.
The story of Nello & Patrache is one of setbacks and emotions. But also one with a very universal message: Friendship conquers all, even beyond death. And what is the most beautiful gesture that two friends can give each other: the hug / gentle touch/stroke.
This story is strongly connected with the city of Antwerp and Flanders that’s why the artist chose to make the sculpture part of the city. A place to take a rest, kids to play on, sit on and … listen to the beautiful story of Nello & Patrasche.
Schepen for tourism Koen Kennis: “Antwerp has a new striking symbol. Copenhagen has its mermaid, Brussels its Manneken Pis, and now Antwerp has Nello and Patrache. With this A-typical and touching Christmas story and this beautiful work of art we will conquer the hearts of the many citizens and foreign visitors. “