It is a little known fact that Belgium's finance minister wears blue and white striped boxer shorts and the Brussels underpants museum has a pair to prove it.
Belgian artist Jan Bucquoy said that the framed underwear represents a utopian longing for an equal society. "If I had portrayed Hitler in his underpants there would not have been a war. I think in this way you can contribute to a better world," Bucquoy said.
"If you are scared of someone, just imagine them in their underpants. The hierarchy will fall and you will see that this is a guy like any other. We are all equal, all brothers."
Bucquoy's "Musee du Slip" or underpants museum, which opened in Brussels earlier this month, features framed underwear donated by mostly Belgian artists, singers and politicians. Each pair comes with a certificate of authenticity and must have been worn at least once by the donor.
Elsewhere, pictures of those unwilling or unable to hand over a pair of undies are adorned with underwear nonetheless.
An Andy Warhol-style print of Margaret Thatcher, wearing a skin-coloured flower-patterned pair of women's underpants, contrasts sharply with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose tri-coloured Y-fronted headwear unmistakably resembles a Napolean Bonaparte hat.