April 20, 2019

Dutch sculpture surprisingly back to original location

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 5:23 pm

This week, a bronze sculpture by Dutch artist Hans Ittmann (1914-1972), which has changed location quite a bit, was unveiled again on the Mirandalaan in the South of Amsterdam at the Judith van Swet retirement home.

Peter Lokkerbol, an employee linked to the home who pushed to have it moved to the public space it is at now, had to first figure out who the artist of this sculpture was, as it had no name. The reason for making a big deal out of the unveiling was that it had a interesting history that needed to be celebrated.

Lokkerbol found out that the sculpture was meant to be climbed by children, and that at the à  location of the Judith van Swet retirement home, there used to be a Jewish orphanage ran by the Jewish Le-Ezrath Ha-Jeled organisation, dedicated to helping children. The orphanage was opened in 1965 by Queen Juliana along with the unveiling of Ittmann’s work, which meant the work is now back where it started after 54 years.

Hans Ittmann started with figurative work, and after WWII turned towards abstract work, having travelled through South American and Northern Africa and having been inspired by ethnographic art. He first started making massive wooden sculpture, and as of 1955 worked mainly with metal.

As well, Ittmann designed two pillars that are part of a property not far from 24orange HQ, so we’ll have to go and check that out one days as well.

(Link and photo: hvoquerido.nl)

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April 11, 2019

Nijmegen’s new square has the wrong name

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 8:17 pm

The city of Nijmegen, Gelderland has named a square downtown after three figures from the city’s history, but has managed to spell their last name incorrectly.

Name after Medieval painters and brothers Herman, Paul and Johan, the square is called ‘Gebroeders Van Limburgplein’ (‘Brothers Van Limburg square’). Thanks to recent research done by an employee of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the proper spelling appears to be ‘Van Lymborch’, something the museum is calling an important milestone in the lives and work of the brothers.

Famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga wrote their last names as ‘Van Limburg’ at some point and everybody just followed suit. In English, they were known as the ‘Limbourg brothers’. However, in Nijmegen documents from the fifteenth century, the spelling Van Lymborch was used. Lymborch was a dutchy located between the city of Achen in Germany and the city of Liège in Belgium. Now a city, it is called Limbourg, and has nothing to do with the Dutch province of Limburg as people thought.

Nijmegen’s Gebroeders van Limburg festival will be held in August and also get a name change to the Gebroeders Van Lymborch festival. The name change will not affect any addresses on the square as they are new houses with nobody living in them yet. That’s obviously way better than in Soesterberg where the street changed name overnight (possibly by mistake) and nobody told the residents.

(Link and photo: waarmaarraar.nl)

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April 9, 2019

Amsterdam cafe changes names to stop threats

Filed under: Food & Drink,History by Orangemaster @ 4:52 pm

Have Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) made it to the Netherlands? I thought we were still good for a while, but I’m calling it: anything with any politically incorrect attachment to the Netherlands’ colonial past is going to have to watch out.

Of course, things need to change for the better and a European country like the Netherlands still grappling with the reality of its colonial past is painfully aware of this, but threatening people is not the way to go. Threats are the new norm, which is scary, as they suppress any possible consensus reaching, something this country was also built on.

The VOC Café (VOC = Dutch East India Company) in downtown Amsterdam located in the Schreierstoren (Schreier tower) is going to change its name purely to stop the barrage of threats the owners keeps receiving. Why now and not ages ago, I can only imagine, although it has a strong SJW flavour to it. The owners are scared and are giving in.

The café has been around since 1995 with ‘VOC’ in the name and nobody said squat. The easy accessibility to social media has to have made a difference in sending threats. The owners have said they have been receiving threats for years now, but it has escalated enough to make them change their name, a costly endeavour.

“Our business is called VOC Café because from here Henry Hudson set sail to Manhattan, where New Amsterdam was founded, later called New York.” By the way, it’s a beautiful cafe, that I can tell you. The owners also completely understand that names of streets, which are being scrutinised, need to change, but believe it take some time. SJW often want everything to happen instantaneously, and their impatience makes them dangerous and volatile.

(Link: parool.nl, Photo of The Schreierstoren by Massimo Catarinella, some rights reserved)

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April 7, 2019

Soldier of Orange set to make the London stage

Filed under: History,Shows by Orangemaster @ 4:54 pm

The Netherlands’ longest running musical, Soldaat van Oranje, known as Soldier of Orange in English, a Dutch musical based on the true story of resistance hero Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, is going to make it to the London stage in 2020.

A few days ago after the announcement, producer Fred Boot said it’s a dream come true. The production has been adapted ever so slightly, but the goal is to have the London crowd love it the same way the Dutch do. The story is not too Dutch, which is code for an international audience can enjoy it without knowing too much about the Netherlands – it is a universal story. As of 25 February, some 2,8 million people in this country have seen the musical.

In the 1970s, Hazelhoff Roelfzema wrote about his experiences in World War II in a book and Dutch director of Hollywood fame Paul Verhoeven made it into a feature film, starring actor Rutger Hauer.

(Links: nu.nl, rtlboulevard.nl, Photo of Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema by Willem van de Poll, some rights reserved)

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April 3, 2019

Van Gogh’s revolver under the hammer in Paris

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 3:32 pm

It has been announced today in Paris that the revolver with which Vincent Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself will be auctioned off on June 19. Auction Art calls it “the most famous weapon in the history of art”, the 7 mm Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch upwards of 60,000 euro when it is sold on June 19.

“Discovered by a farmer in 1965 in the same field where the troubled Dutch painter is thought to have fatally wounded himself 75 years before, the gun has already been exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.”

Experts say that Van Gogh shot himself near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris where he spent the last few months of his life in 1890. The revolver belonged to the owner of the inn where he was staying. Van Gogh died 36 hours after he wounded himself in the inn and in the dark.

There are still many discussions about whether he actually shot himself or that maybe a local boy shot him inadvertently.

(Link: phys.org)

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January 30, 2019

Efteling amusement park addresses some of its racist stereotypes

Filed under: General,History by Orangemaster @ 5:00 pm

Calling them ‘hurtful clichés’ rather than straight up racist stereotypes, amusement park De Efteling is finally modernising their collection of African and Asian figures.

The negative comments got enough media attention back in 2014 when an American journalist was ‘shocked’ at the famous ‘Monsieur cannibale’ ride complete with Africans, gold rings and a boiling cauldron (see our previous posts on the topic, it gets into the weeds of the French song itself).

Although there was an action group that pushed for changes, the park said they decided on their own to update their rides, changing the appearance of some 100 figures around the park as well as updating the place with some energy-efficient lighting.

Interestingly enough, no changes have been planned for the Monsieur cannibale ride, but they say it might be updated once it needs maintenance, which sounds like a Dutch compromise.

Tip to foreign media, especially Americans: the more Americans point out the weird-ass colonial shit that still exists in this country, the more people are going to dig in simply because it’s an American telling them what to do, which – pardon the pun – is widely interpreted as a pot-kettle-black situation.

Colonialism and cannibals: deconstructing a Dutch tourist attraction

Opening the racist door: Monsieur Cannibale part deux

(Link: rtlnieuws.nl, Photo: Photo of an Efteling dragon by Jeroen Kransen, some rights reserved)

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January 27, 2019

Why Volendam has a disease named after it

Filed under: Health,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:55 pm


Recently I was in Amsterdam’s famous Jordaan neighbourhood and decided to pop into an old brown café to have a drink. One of the bar staff was new, and she told me she was from Volendam, which only has 22,000 or so residents. Her comment also brought with it an inevitable discussion about ‘palingpop’ (‘eel pop’, typically Volendam music sung by the likes of Jantje Smit and Nick & Simon, which she’s not a fan of) and hereditary diseases.

Referred to as the ‘Volendam sickness’ and known more properly as ‘Volendam neurodegenerative disease’, this one village is know for “Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2 (PCH-2), a heterogeneous group of rare neurodegenerative disorders caused by genetic mutations and characterised by progressive atrophy of various parts of the brain such as the cerebellum or brainstem (particularly the pons) for which there is no cure”. Any child born with this disease will die before they reach 10. According to Dutch wikipedia, one out of every seven residents of Volendam is a carrier, and the chance of PCH-2 is one out of 250 births, while for the Dutch population it is one out of 180,000.

The bar woman talked about it being standard fare for her family members and their partners who wanted to have children to be tested for diseases, as the chances of being a carrier is high. Research has shown that European patients who contract the disease are all related 10 to 12 generations back to the same ancestor, and quick Google search tells me that the entire village of Volendam stem from about seven ancestors. People from Volendam are a very tight tribe, as told by my bar woman who said that when she came to live in Amsterdam it caused quite a stir in her family. And if someone from Volendam does marry an ‘outsider’, you can bet they will try and push for the new couple to live in Volendam.

Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful village full of tourists, and I’m sure it has a lot more stories to tell.

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January 17, 2019

Seventies Dutch Marines recruitment film should sell lingerie

Filed under: General,History by Orangemaster @ 5:51 pm

Spokesman for the Netherlands Ministry of Defence Klaas Meijer tweeted about this groovy, James Bond-esque recruiting film for the Dutch Marines, which for 1972 was possibly seen as quite ordinary. However, on Twitter, it made a lot of people twitch because of the way it portrays women.

Sexism and good looking women in lingerie is as late 1960s-early 1970s as it gets, and this would never ever be made today except as a joke. I like the music, though. I can laugh about it today because it’s generally accepted that you have to see something like this in context: women were still housewives back then in this country.

Instead of getting outraged, let’s all have a good laugh at how ignorant it is, but yet still very funny. All the men in white underwear look completely ridiculous as well.

Photo: www.lc.nl

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January 11, 2019

KPN axes Dutch Internet provider XS4ALL

Filed under: History,IT by Orangemaster @ 3:09 pm

It’s the end of an era: Owned by KPN, Dutch Internet pioneer XS4LL (a play on words of the pronunciation of ‘access for all’ by Dutch folks (the ‘x’ sounds like ‘ex’ and not ‘ax’ in Dutch, so ‘excess’ for all the non-Dutch) was founded back in 1993 and has very loyal clients. I write this knowing a lot of their clients, including my co-blogger Branko, and a lot of friends who either work or have worked there.

By loyal clients, I also mean they will not stay on with KPN after XS4ALL ceases to exist, but have also launched a petition to keep XS4ALL, which is not something you see everyday for a profit-making company. Chances are, it won’t change anything, but it will give you an idea of how much people care about the company.

And why is that? Well, XS4ALL was Internet-savvy before having Internet was a thing in the Netherlands. Apparently, it’s the third oldest Internet service provider (ISP) in the country, after NLnet and SURFnet. According to Wikipedia, XS4ALL was the second company to offer Internet access to private individuals, which was not a given when the Internet started to be a telecommunications staple. One of its founder is Rop Gonggrijp, a well-known hacktivist in international circles.

In the mid 2000s, XS4ALL was big, and one of the main reasons was because they gave really good service. You were talking to people who were all Internet fans, not just working stiffs with stupid answers. They helped win the battle against spam back when you would get 100 to 200 spam mails a day and fought a lot of other battles as well, winning quite a few.

XS4ALL was bought by KPN (the big Dutch provider) in December 1998, but stayed in its bubble to a certain extent until this year. KPN is now trying to convince its XS4ALL clients that ‘only the name will change’ and there’s nobody buying that, to the point were many loyal clients will change providers out of principle.

If you feel strongly enough about it, you can also sign the petition (in Dutch).

(Link: tweakers.net, Photo of XS4ALL head office by Pachango, some rights reserved)

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January 2, 2019

Dutch record malpractice claim sees patient die

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 12:39 pm

Happy New Year! Now let’s get to it.

Irish woman Adrienne Cullen had been campaigning for transparency in hospital care after she was left with terminal cervical cancer due to a grave medical error at a Dutch hospital, the mostly costly in Dutch medical history, to the tune of €545,000.

Sadly, Cullen passed away right before the new year, aged 58.

She had undergone tests in the Netherlands in 2011, but only two years later did doctors notice she had cancer. By 2015 her cancer had spread, and it was terminal. UMCU teaching hospital in Utrecht offered her €500,000 as long as she signed a gagging order to shut her up. Not taking this lying down, Cullen starting campaigning for more transparency about medical errors, and I bet told them to stuff it.

As well as giving lecture in her final days, Cullen was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Cork in Ireland. Her book ‘Deny, Dismiss, Dehumanize: What Happened When I went to Hospital’ will be published soon. Her entire story didn’t go unnoticed by the Dutch-language media either.

(Link: dutchnews.nl)

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