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Is Belgium ugly? Photographer tracks down unsightly houses for new exhibition

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Meet the photographer tracking down the ugliest houses in Belgium
Meet the photographer tracking down the ugliest houses in Belgium   -   Copyright  Credit: Hannes Coudenys
By Theo Farrant  & EBU

A new exhibition titled 'Ugly Belgian Houses' aims to showcase some of the most unusual houses found in the country.

The man behind the project is photographer and author, Hannes Coundenys, who had the idea of tracking down Belgium's ugliest residences when riding his bike around Bruges.

He has been photographing Belgian houses for ten years and has released two books, cataloging the photos of the houses.

The beauty of ugliness

AP Photo
Hannes believes it’s better to be ugly than to be boring.”AP Photo

His project has also gone viral on social media, with his Instagram account gaining more than 155k followers.

To publish the pictures on the internet, Hannes does not need the owner's authorisation.

However, for the books and the exhibition, he had to ask for it, in order to avoid any lawsuits.

"They don't all like the concept (the house owners), but some people tell me 'Yes, I think my house is ugly too. You're right'," explained Coundenys.

Coundenys says that the exhibition isn't just a collection of ugly houses, but also a reflection on the sometimes surreal spatial planning and architecture in Belgium, and on the universal experience of beauty and ugliness.

Check out the video above for a look inside the exhibition

Video editor • Theo Farrant