On Tuesday October 15th, some activists of the Right to Repair campaign transformed the statue of Mercator in Brussels into ‚Mercator the repairer‘ by adding bright yellow painted repair tools to it.
Rosalie Heens from Repair and Share, one of the organisation involved says:
„With this playful action we want to highlight the importance of repair and to express our admiration and support to all repairers. This is desperately needed. Although it is clear that repairing products is an effective way to produce less waste and to consume less energy and raw materials, repairing is not always easy today. Repairers are confronted with a lot of barriers: products that are very difficult to open, broken parts that are hidden deep inside the appliances and difficult to reach or spare parts that are difficult or even impossible to obtain.
As a tribute to the repairers who bravely confront those barriers, we want to give tham a statue. We chose the statue of Mercator, because he was a very intelligent, creative and a not easily discouraged man. He changed the world with his inventions and brought progress. Just like repairers do today. Similar actions took place in the cities of Louvain and Liege, where the statues of Fonske and Georges Simenon were transformed into repair heroes.
With our initiative we do not only want to support the repairers. We also ask policy makers to better support the valuable work of repairers, to stimulate the repair sector and to make repairing more attractive to consumers. Policy makers can do a lot of things to achieve this, like giving tax benefits for repairs, adopt legislation that requires producers to make spare parts and repair information acccessible to everyone and to design products in a way that they are easy to open and to repair. As members of the European Right to Repair campaign, we want to take every opportunity to put these proposals on the agenda. The upcoming International Repair Day seemed a good timing to us.“
The action was an initiative of Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken vzw, Repair&Share vzw, Repair Together asbl, MAAKbar Leuven and supported by the European Environmental Bureau & the Right to Repair campaign.