The sculptural composition A Joke on a Policeman was installed in Brussels, in the Molenbeek district in 1985, opposite the building of the French Community (Communaute Francaise).
The funny sculpture is called “De Vaartkapoen”, which literally means “vaart” means “canal”, and “kapoen” from Dutch means “impudent, arrogant, swindler”, and all together is a common noun for all residents of the area.
The author of the masterpiece, the cheerful and talented Belgian sculptor Tom Franzen, created an ironic monument commissioned by the city committee, in the Brussels genre “zwanze”.
The plot of the sculptural composition seems to be copied from a hilarious and amusing comic strip. A young joker suddenly leans out of the sewer hatch and, like a “devil from a snuffbox”, grabs a police officer – a law-abiding guardian of order by the leg, as if overthrowing him from his legal position …
It’s funny, funny and very kind, although joking with police officers (especially in our country) is very dangerous … At the heart of the sculptural composition is the work of the cartoonist Herge, mainly known as the creator of the comic character Tintin, changing the number of the policeman’s visor from 15 to 22. An inspector with a helmet at number 15 was also one of the famous characters of Herge. The number 22 is a play on words because of the French expression “vingt-deux, v” là les, which means “be careful, you naughty cops!”