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A City Sets Christmas Lights Like a Candle. Some people see other things.




The Belgian city of Oudenburg was entering the Christmas spirit and was preparing to reveal a light that appears in many columns placed to look like festive candles scattered in one of its districts.

But when the key was turned, something else appeared: instead of candles, the 80 columns looked more like a certain part of the male anatomy filled with blue lights, illuminating bus stops, green spaces and even the surroundings of a church.

The show in Oudenburg, 10 miles west of Bruges, was quickly spotted with amusement by locals, and then received with joy by the Belgian and international news media.

Oudenburg Mayor Anthony Dumarey said the city was making the most of the situation and he hoped the show, and all the attention it had received, would delight locals displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.

We had the idea of ​​installing candle-shaped lights, Mr Dumarey said by telephone on Friday. Some people see other things. He said the screen would stand.

During the day, installations nearly six feet[6 m]high looked like ordinary columns lined with strings of lights. But illuminated at night, they took on a whole new aspect, which Mr Dumarey said surprised him.

When the lights are not on, I swear, you can not see it.

With more than 15,000 deaths from Covid-19, Belgium ranks as the country with the highest death rate per capita in the world, according to a New York Times database. Country authorities reinstated restrictions across the country earlier this month, with all non-essential shops closed, working from home made mandatory and visits between banned families.

I am very happy to put a smile on people’s faces and bring light to darkness, said Mr Dumarey.

The lights were installed in Ettelgem, which is part of the municipality of Oudenburg, on Monday. The rest of the city has pyramids as Christmas decorations, Mr Dumarey said, adding that residents had responded well to the new lights.

Claire Moses contributed to the report.

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