The idea to make a tribute for Dia already bubbled up in 2020, says Bjorn Van Poucke of All About Things. “Sanda has been featured in the media so many times that it felt like he became an object. With the mural, the friends and family wanted to portray him again as Sanda the human being, as the good friend and good son he used to be.”
The drawing has been applied to the rear facade of the Pieter De Someraula in consultation with the city of Leuven and KU Leuven. The ideal location, says Van Poucke. “The facade is located in the center of the city, is visible from the street and overlooks a park, where many students gather.”
The statue was painted on the facade last week, the last pieces were finished on Tuesday. The result is a photo-realistic portrait of Dia. “It’s an emotional image. It seems as if Sanda is looking straight at you,” says Van Poucke.
Sanda Dia died on December 7, 2018, after a two-day initiation ritual of the now disbanded student club Reuzegom. He was then 20 years old. The trial around student club Reuzegom and the death of Dia will resume on March 13, 2023. There, 18 members of the student club are on trial for Dia’s death