Belgian tourist boards lure visitors with surrealist cat video

After the recent security lockdown in Brussels spurred a surrealist feline-themed internet meme, the local tourism boards have now added their own bit to the running joke with a cat video that also shows off the best of the city.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown. Image by Visit Flanders

The cat video was filmed at some of the capital city’s well-known sites during a five-day lockdown that followed a high terror alert.

Following the 13 November terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels went into lockdown, as two of the perpetrators of the attacks who died were from Belgium. A brother of one of the two men, suspect Salah Abdesalem, is still on the loose.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown. Image by Visit Flanders

Police had asked the public to refrain from commenting on ongoing police operations on social media as it may give terrorists information on the armed operations and raids that the Belgian military and police were carrying out. Those raids resulted in the arrest of people who allegedly aided Abdesalam in leaving Paris following the attacks.

In an effort to see a lighter side of the frightening situation, Belgians responded to the police request by taking to Twitter with the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown and posting pictures of cats who were ready to get in on the action and others who were happy to wait out the storm.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown. Image by Visit Flanders

Getting in on the running joke, the Belgian tourist boards took advantage of the empty tourist sites to film at landmarks such as the Grand Place and the Atomium, and then add some felines to the mix.

The video description says that the camera crew went to the centre of the city and “even though the city was in lockdown, they met smiling locals, enthusiastic tourists and a suspicious number of cats.”

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown.

A Belgian tourist board released a video of cats in Brussels in response to internet memes during the city's lockdown. Image by Visit Flanders

Tourism in Paris has taken a hit since the 13 November attacks, and the lockdown in Brussels closed schools, businesses, museums and more, leaving popular sites nearly empty.

Watch the video here.

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