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Pret a Changer as sandwich chain backtracks on binning Brussels statue

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Pret a Changer as sandwich chain backtracks on binning Brussels statue
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Pret a Manger has overturned its decision to get rid of a popular statue in Brussels' Midi station after widespread public upset.

The statue, a horse dressed as a zebra, sits outside Sam's Cafe and is one of the first sights that greets arriving Eurostar passengers.

But with Pret a Manger set to take over the space this summer, the sandwich chain had made plans to get rid of the beloved feature.

Upset social media users discussed their memories of the "national treasure" with "iconic" value, known as a "landmark" and a meeting place for travellers.

One Twitter user even said the horse-zebra had been integral to him meeting his future wife.

"When Marta came to visit me in Brussels in February 2011 after not seeing each other for twelve years, we met by Sam, the horse disguised as a zebra," he wrote.

"Sam brought us luck: we got married ten months later".

So popular is Brussels' mascot that the conversation started the hashtag #SaveSam, and a petition against his removal eventually gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

Speaking to Euronews on Friday, a Pret spokesperson confirmed it had overturned its decision, and that Sam would remain outside the shop.

"We’ve listened to feedback and I’m really pleased to announce that Sam the Horse-Zebra will join the Pret team at Gare du Midi station, helping to welcome new customers to the shop,” Pret's partnerships managing director, Michael Haley, said.