The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague will be unveiling a new exhibition as soon as it is allowed to open its doors again. The exhibition will run through 29 August. The name of the exhibition is Fleeting – Scents in Colour (mauritshuis.nl, in English). According to the Dutch website nu.nl scent dispensers will be available at 8 paintings to allow visitors to “smell” the scene, as it were. The dispensers will be foot activated. The smells range from pleasant (spices, tobacco, coffee and teas from faraway lands) to not-so-pleasant (foul-smelling canals and unpleasant body odors).
It’s an interesting way to make museum visits even more interactive. There is also a book available at the Mauritishuis webshop, in either English or Dutch. The nu.nl article also mentions that the museum is working on packaging the scents so that you can experience the scents from home while visiting the exhibition virtually.
In other news: Foutje herder veroorzaakt babyboom bij schaapskudde Balloo: ‘Nu al 20 lammetjes’ from nos.nl in Dutch. (Herder’s mistake causes babyboom in a flock of sheep: ‘There are already 20 lambs’). In short, a young ram was allowed to stay with his mother too long because he was still nursing. In the meantime he managed to get very frisky before the herder noticed. Since then twenty lambs were born. Since the ram is black, and all of the offspring are black, it was quite obvious to see who the culprit was…
DUO maakt printfout met brieven: burgerservicenummers op straat, from nu.nl in Dutch. (DUO makes a printing error with letters: BSNs accidentally visible). DUO is an government which helps students with financing. They recently printed letters with the burger service number (think social security number for Americans) visible in the address portion of the envelope – that is, visible without even opening the letter. Opps? Up to 1,700 students could be affected although the number is likely to be much less than that as some letters in the batches were fine.
DUO said that the numbers were printed a bit too high on the paper. They are now investigating whether the numbers need to be on the letter in the first place. It does seem like a good idea to leave them off…
I noticed a “We miss you” sign at Hema (English Wikipedia) recently and decided to snap a quick picture:
Non-essential stores are still closed in the Netherlands, although click-and-collect options will be available from 10 February (see my previous blog post).
In other news, for those of us in The Hague: the yearly sculpture event will be returning to the Lange Voorhout this summer! (Official link from pulchri.nl in Dutch). The exhibition will run from 21 May to 14 September and will feature sculptures from 20 artists. The event is free and open to the public at any point of the day (provided there isn’t an evening curfew… ugh).
In 2018 (blog post) and 2019 the event was sand sculptures. Unfortunately the 2020 event was cancelled due to the corona crisis, so it is nice to see it return this year.
The first thing I noticed was the blue wings of the bird, but the face at the top is just as stunning honestly. It never stops amazing me how graffiti (and poetry) just randomly appears in this city. Here’s some owl graffiti Marco and I found last year and here is a corona-related poem that appeared in the same area as Bristol last year.
This morning also saw a milestone in the Netherlands: First person in the Netherlands vaccinated against Covid-19 at 8:43 a.m. from nltimes.nl. The recipient was a 39-year old nursing home worker who works in Veghel, a town in the southern part of the Netherlands. Veghel was also where the first registered case of coronavirus was found last year, so the choice of where to administer the first vaccination is also symbolic.
I was able to get a few photos of the Mauritshuis museum during a short walk this week. What do you think of the Christmas tree?
Mauritshuis is most known for Vermeer’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring. You can see a homage to this behind the right pillar in the image – but it is not exactly the painting, either. It is a digital display where the head and outfit change slightly every few seconds.
As you can see above, now the photo is of someone else with a blue cap instead of a headscarf.
You can also visit the museum virtually via this link (it is like Google Map’s Street View).
Page 1: a face mask with The Hague’s yellow and green colors. Page 2: a face mask with a The Girl with a Pearl Earring design. Page 3: a face mask from Museon, a science and culture museum in The Hague. Page 4: a face mask from HTM, The Hague’s public transportation company. Page 5: a face mask from a local soccer club. Page 6: a face mask with a depiction of Haagse Harry. Page 7: no idea, really.
Have you read about this one yet? I have never seen something so cool (which I only feel comfortable saying because no one was injured):
This happened late on Sunday night into Monday, just after midnight. The metro went straight through the stop blocks at the final stop, crashing off the platform, landing on a whale’s tail. (Don’t believe the rumor that the artwork is called “Saved by the Whale’s Tail”, as cool as that would be. The actual name is “Whale tails”.) The artwork was installed in 2002 and is a reference to the metro’s tail track.
I give the dismount a perfect 10. More news articles:
The artist also says in this article that he wanted to go a different direction, however he decided to stick with the whale tail because residents in the area reminded him that he had promised them a whale tail (or two).
And because of that the driver is still alive today.
68,759 people have been tested for the corona virus so far under The Netherlands’ policy of now testing any resident who requests it. This period is from 1 June to 9 June (yesterday). Most test results come back in 48 hours, although the original promise was to have test results within 24 hours. About 2.1% of the tests have come back positive. See also the NOS live blog from today.
Last week Marco and I noticed another poem hanging on the wall of one of the buildings in the city centre:
It’s also on the Grote Markt, across the street from MediaMarkt at the Lust poffertjes restaurant (Instagram | Facebook). In English it reads:
A while ago there was war and occupation here
Even so peace, freedom and joy returned
The sun always came back from behind the clouds
This will happen again now, we don’t know when
but it will happen for sure
We live in the now
With the joy from before
And the hope for tomorrow
The sun will come again
Here is another random piece of art which I spotted at the end of a side street in The Hague:
And of course since it is the Netherlands you get to see a lot of bikes on each side of the alleyway. This is Bagijnestraat, a small side street off of the popular Lange Poten street, which includes stores, cafés and even the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives).