Dinant, Belgium is a lively historic town that happens to be the birthplace of musical instrument inventor, Adophe Sax. 2014 is the 200th anniversary of his birth, so the town is really doing it up right! I was glad to be hosted to experience it.
Walking around the streets in the valley of the Ardennes along the Meuse River, there are a number of different public art installations devoted to the man who changed Western music forever. There are cartoon murals, including a drawing of Adolphe Sax with a Belgian comic book femme fatale.
On the bridge crossing the Meuse, there are enameled saxaphones — much like many metropolitan areas have their own enameled theme object. The difference here is, all the participatory countries of the Association Internationale Adolphe Sax have had artists contributing one sax representing each nation. The idea was that each country’s sax would be a subtle reference to them, but I was able to pick out many of the countries: France’s romantic kisses, Finland’s dark, icy seas, etc.
Late to the art party — but very popular — is a brass life-sized figure of Sax sitting on a bench (people like to pose with it) and some abstract metal statues in town.
Dinant also has a little walk-in closet of a free museum at the site of what was his house, open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. You can hear sound snippets. Along the street are signs representing the full range of the many sizes of saxaphones that Sax invented, along with info on what music was composed to go with each.