Marcel Mariën was a Belgian surrealist (later Situationist), poet, essayist, photographer, collagist, filmmaker, and maker of objects. Mariën is one of the most intriguing and elusive figures in the Belgian wing of the Surrealist movement. He was not only an artist, but also a publisher, a bookseller, a sailor, a journalist in China and an elaborate Surrealist prankster. Mariën and his fellow Surrealists loved making jokes. In 1953, Mariën went to the Belgian coast, where he distributed false bank notes printed by René and Paul Magritte.In 1962, the joke was on Magritte when Mariën and Leo Dohmen produced a tract, “La Grande Baisse”, to coincide with a major retrospective of Magritte’s work in Knokke. Presented as written by Magritte himself, it announced drastic discounts on the artist’s major paintings and offered the chance to order them in different sizes. Even leading Surrealists, amongst them André Breton, failed to grasp the joke and praised Magritte for this undertaking. Magritte was furious when he found out and the 25-year friendship between Magritte and Mariën was over.