The Hague’s central library currently has an exhibition entitled “Tekenen in Vrijheid?!” or “Freedom to draw”, where political cartoons from different parts of the world are on display. The exhibition also celebrates 75 years of freedom (since WWII) and the United Nations’ 75th anniversary (special website at un.org). The exhibition is available through 17 June and can be found on the 2nd floor, near the escalators.
Marco and I checked out the exhibition that it is going on right now over on the Lange Voorhout. The exhibition, from Pulchri Studio (official website in Dutch), will be available through 14 September. Since it is on public ground you can visit it whenever you want, day or night.
This sculpture is near the beginning of the exhibition (depending on where you enter the Lange Voorhout, of course).
This sculpture is topical – it is someone balancing upside down on a coronavirus.
Here is another piece of art found on the Achterom street:
I looked up the phrase “She belongs to no one but herself” and found this page for the “She project” at hansmahler.nl in English.
A while ago I posted about a poll that the city held to determine what stones would be used for the Spuiplein and in front of the city hall once the construction of the new cultural complex was complete. At the time I noted that most of the answers were “we don’t care, whatever is least slippery”. It is quite hard to walk there when it rains.
I did of course forget that a lot of skaters love that area because the current stones don’t have any grip. There is also a lot of echo in that area, so they might like the loud sound when their boards slam on the ground over and over again… Anyway, they are not pleased that it seems the city will be going for stones with more grip. Their wheels get stuck in the stone and the board doesn’t react the same way as before. Problem is that it is also an area a lot of people walk through to get from the city centre to the central station and vice versa, so it will be interesting to see what the city does.
The skaters will hold a “Save Spui” demonstration on Saturday, May 29 at 14:00. See also this article at omroepwest.nl in Dutch.
The Thorbecke monument on the Lange Voorhout has recently received a new addition:
Interesting that only one of them is wearing a face mask…
This monument is actually made up of two parts: the modern stainless steel part (pictured above) and a marble part (not pictured) where J.R. Thorbecke, a 19th century Dutch statesman is actually shown. The two parts are supposed to represent the 19th century Thorbecke’s influence on our times. See also this page from angloinfo.com for more information in English.
Here is a look at one of the stone decorations in the Binnenhof:
You know the Netherlands has a lot of rain when even the art references it. (I kid, I kid. It doesn’t rain THAT much.)
And a zoomed out photo:
Unfortunately Binnenhof will be undergoing renovations later this year that are projected to last 5 years (article from nu.nl in Dutch). Five years of not being able to walk in this area seems rather long. The other option was to do the construction in stages so that the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) wouldn’t have to temporarily move elsewhere. While that option might have been cheaper it would have meant construction would last 12 years…
This morning I took a photo of the line to enter Bijenkorf, a high-end department store. There weren’t too many people in line yet – it was only 11:00 – but there was a large amount of space roped off on the Grote Markt shopping street.
The not-quite-readable sign says “Welcome! Access only allowed with appointment. Scan the QR-code to make an appointment.” (QR codes have definitely become more popular during the corona crisis.) In the Netherlands you need to make an appointment at least 4 hours in advance. Non-essential stores can have 1 person per 25 square meters, with a maximum of 50 shoppers in the store at one time.
The sculpture is called “Veelhoofd” (Many heads) and it was created by Joep van Lieshout. The art in The Hague’s city centre moves around a lot – the sculpture was initially installed on the Spui (stroom.nl, in English) around the corner back in 2010.
The last independent PostNL (national postal service) location closed in October, here in The Hague. Nowadays PostNL locations are kiosks within larger stores, usually managed by that store’s employees. After a while Amazing Oriental moved in. Amazing Oriental is a national Asian grocery store with a handful of locations in The Hague and surrounding area. They have a lot of great stuff – we’re usually there at least once a week. Marco is like a kid in a candy store in that shop…
Yesterday we visited the old PostNL location, across from the Grote Kerk (“Big Church”). While I was waiting for Marco to finish his shopping inside I snapped this photo:
As usual, lots of bikes. Also an orange post drop off box on the left. Even if PostNL doesn’t have a location here anymore, it is still a drop off point for mail. Although even those are disappearing or getting consolidated these days.
Fun fact: there used to be a 48 meter lang painting by Escher (Metamorphosis III) hanging in the PostNL location from 1969 until 2018, when it was moved to Schiphol airport. See also Escher in Het Paleis, the official Escher museum (website in English). The page also includes a film about moving the artwork to the airport.
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…