City of Bruges distances itself from statements Delphine Lecompte about pedophilia, but takes no further steps: “Respect the right to free speech” | Instagram VTM NEWS

BruggeThe Bruges branch of Vlaams Belang asks that the collaboration with museum poet Delphine Lecompte immediately end. The reason is a letter from Lecompte in Humo, in which she talks about pedophilia. She points to the fact that ‘most pedophiles never commit pedosexual acts and that every person is sometimes attracted to innocence and youth’. The Bruges city council distances itself from the statements, but is not taking any further steps.

Lecompte’s letter to the reader is causing a lot of controversy. State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) is one of the many people who react indignantly. “I have now read the piece 4 times and I still cannot believe that I am being asked to fantasize about explicit encounters with a 5-year-old Romanian flower seller. Rancid, extremely rancid,” says Mahdi. And he’s not alone. The Bruges branch of Vlaams Belang was the first to react. “In that letter to the reader, poet and columnist Delphine Lecompte nuances, normalizes and even condones pedophilia,” says council member Stefaan Sintobin. Lecompte wrote this letter after a recent case of pedophilia in which a TV actor was allegedly involved after an investigation by this newspaper. “There have been many outraged reactions to Delphine Lecompte’s open letter on social media. Disgusting, disgusting and reprehensible, it was said by many. I was shocked too,” Sintobin adds.

festival series

In December 2020, Lecompte was appointed by Bruges as a museum poet. It was the intention that Lecompte wrote a number of poems based on museum objects from the collections of Musea Brugge. The museum poetship is part of the festival series ‘Mind the Artist’, in which Musea Brugge will support artists for a year in 2021 who have been hit extra hard by the corona crisis. “Lecompte’s open letter only creates negative publicity for our city and our museums. I therefore demand that the collaboration between the city of Bruges and Delphine Lecompte be terminated immediately,” said Sintobin. The city of Bruges reviewed the situation and made a statement during the day.

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Ms Lecompte’s letter to the reader is completely separate from the artistic assignment we gave her with Musea Brugge. Her personal stance on this subject – which we do not share in any way – has no further influence on this

Nico Blontrock, Alderman of Culture Bruges

No consequence

“We expressly do not support Delphine Lecompte’s statements about pedophilia, and we therefore clearly want to distance ourselves from this,” said Mayor Dirk De fauw. “At the same time, as a city council, we stand for the right to free opinion and artistic freedom. We will therefore not take any further steps in this matter.”

The planned activities in the context of the Museum Poetry of Delphine Lecompte will continue until further notice. Alderman of Culture Nico Blontrock: “Ms Lecompte’s letter to readers is completely separate from the artistic assignment we gave her with Musea Brugge. Her personal stance on this subject – which we do not share in any way – has no further influence on this.”

Lecompte response

Delphine Lecompte has meanwhile also responded to the hoopla herself. “When I expressed my disgust at the hollow opportunistic unscrupulous media stunt of journalist and pedophile Sven van der Meulen in my most recent letter to readers in Humo, I immediately knew that my letter would be interpreted as follows: Delphine Lecompte is already standing up for pedophiles! While I just wanted to emphasize that most people who are unlucky enough to be born with a sexual preference for children spend a lifetime fighting that sexual preference and never engage in paedosexual acts,” says Lecompte. “However, I have not written anywhere that I think pedophilia is fantastic or admirable, and that adults may assault underage sword swallowers and 6-year-old bassoonists to their heart’s content. Of course you can’t. But I find it terribly stupid and callous (and dangerous) to lump and demonize all pedophiles with the same brush. Of course I realize that there are also pedophiles who do commit pedosexual acts, and I am not blind to the lifelong wounds and scars that such acts can cause. However, that does not mean that every pedophile is a bogeyman. And that does not mean that pedophilia can no longer be explored in art and literature.”

See also: Flemish actor tells how he abused children

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