Jerome Duquesnoy, Manneken Pis, 1619, Bronze, 61 cm (24 in), City of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium. . The statue most probably started out as a public fountain, with the peeing boy as a homage to the tanners, as medieval tanners let children and street urchins pee on leather to make it more supple. Time passed and people forgot how the statue got there in the first place, so incredible legends started to explain its origins. The most popular story states how the little peeing boy saved the capital. In this tale, Brussels was surrounded by enemies. One day they seemingly retreated, but had really put tons of gunpowder under the city. A little boy saw the burning fuse and quickly peed on it.