“In the main hall of the Schaerbeek town hall, busts of the former mayors are displayed. Among them, there is one that has been causing a stir for several years: that of Roger Nols. Should we keep this representation of the man who served four successive terms as mayor of the municipality while regularly making national headlines? From the ‘separate counters affair’ (1971-1975) to his arrival at the town hall on a camel (31 December 1986), via the invitation of the French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1984, the Schaerbeek politician was the subject of heated controversy.
In September 2017, the Movement against Racism, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia (MRAX) requested the municipal authorities of Schaerbeek to remove this bust whose presence among the other mayors “legitimises the unacceptable positions he has taken and the hate speeches he has made”. The municipal majority, sensitive to the argument, first proposed to put up a sign recalling this controversial page of Schaerbeek’s history, symbolised by this mayor, before suggesting a broader reflection, based on an assessment of the state of knowledge of the “Nolste period”.
The article recalls some of the main lines of the political, socio-economic and urban development of the municipality in order to better understand the context in which the character evolved.”