February 24, 2021

Van Gogh painting shown for the first time

Filed under: Art,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 4:44 pm

A never before shown work by Vincent van Gogh will be auctioned off on 25 March in Paris by Sotheby’s and Mirabaud Mercier, and is expected to fetch between 5 and 8 million euro. The owner wishes to remain anonymous.

Entitled ‘Scène de Rue à Montmartre’ (‘A street scene in Montmartre’) painted by Van Gogh in 1887 while he was visiting his brother Theo in Paris, the painting stayed for about a century in a French family’ private collection. It depicts a man and woman strolling arm in arm past children playing, with a fence and a windmill in the background.

Auctioneers say that the painting had been seen in catalogues, but had never been on public display. It is one of the very few paintings from Van Gogh’s Montmartre period that was in private hands.

If you want to see the painting and you live in The Netherlands, you would need to make an appointment with Sotheby’s in Amsterdam on 1, 2 and 3 March because after that the painting is off to London and Paris.

(Links: nu.nl, Image: swissinfo.ch)

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February 2, 2021

Iranian spy and terrorist stayed at Dutch hotel unencumbered

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:09 pm

Flag of Iran

Assadollah Assadi, a 48-year-old Iranian diplomat wanted by Belgian authorities for spying and terrorism, apparently stayed at a hotel in Meppel, Drente without any problems.

According to books in the hands of Flemish broadcaster VRT, Assadi stayed at Hotel de Poort, across the street from the Meppel train station. Hotel owner Henk van Duinen has not been able to find any record of the stay from five years ago. The Dutch authorities knew nothing of Assadi’s visit to Meppel either.

Assadi was arrested in Germany, and is facing a 20-year sentence. He’s been held in a Belgian prison awaiting the verdict in his trial next Thursday. It has recently emerged that while in custody he was visited by his superiors from Tehran. Apparently, he also gave other spies and terrorists instructions.

The Iranian frequented public spaces in many smaller European cities such as Meppel where he made appointments at tourist spots. The data reveal a predilection for meetings outside castles and fortresses. The only notable person I know from Meppel is my bookkeeper.

(Links: vrt.be, rtvdrenthe.nl, Image of Flag of Iran, some rights reserved)

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January 27, 2021

Dutch girl first to join the Ferrari Driver Academy

Filed under: Automobiles,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 4:52 pm

Maya Weug

Sixteen-year-old Maya Weug of Belgian-Dutch-Spanish nationality, has recently made history by becoming the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy.

She was selected from the final stage of the Girls on Track – Rising Stars initiative, a program run by Ferrari together with motorsport governing body the FIA.

Weug apparently beat competition from 17-year-old Doriane Pin of France, 14-year-old Antonella Bassani of Brazil and 15-year-old Julia Ayoub of Estonia.

Weug has earned a place in the Academy which prepares talented young drivers for a potential career in motorsport.

“I will never forget this day! I am so happy to be the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy,” said Weug, who was born in Spain to a Belgian mother and Dutch father.

(Link: edition.cnn.com, image from Maya Weug’s instagram)

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January 24, 2021

Film about ‘homesick’ stone brought back to Finland

Filed under: Art,History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:42 pm

I recently asked a friend who is big on documentaries if they had any viewing suggestions, and I was told I should watch the 2019 Dutch documentary ‘Bart en de steen die terug naar huis ging’ (‘Bart and the stone that went back home’). It’s the story of artist Bart Eysink Smeets who took a dolmen stone from Borger, Drenthe back to its original home on the Åland Islands, a unique part of Finland where Swedish is the main language.

Filmed by Bart’s brother Tom, we get to watch Bart’s process in finding the right stone in Borger, Drenthe, the Dutch city with the most dolmens. The film is a combination of bureaucracy, up and downs, weirdness, and humour. The way to Åland is a fun road trip as well and you might get attached to the stone while you watch.

As I want to keep this spoiler-free, watch it if you can understand enough Dutch and/or with Dutch subtitles. There’s some English, Drents (dialect) and Swedish as well.

(Link: nrc.nl, image: still from the film)

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January 20, 2021

Delft puts artist’s work in the bin by mistake

Filed under: Art,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:19 am

Chess table

Delft artist Tijn Noordenbos produces art for public spaces, and admits he’s used to some of his artworks disappearing. However, the city of Delft trashing his socially-distanced chess table and chairs came as a bit of a surprise.

Around New Year’s Eve, the city of Delft, South Holland picked up the artwork, looking for stuff they could burn. The idea was to get rid of anything that could be set on fire before New Year’s Eve, owing to the fact that fireworks had been banned and people would set (and did set) other stuff on fire.

Noordenbos is not upset, and is already working on a giant Scrabble board, with letters that will be 60 x 60 cm. He hasn’t asked the city permission, which is why his artworks sometimes disappear. It’s part of the game.

And he’s never been fined for leaving his art lying around. His two dolls in the city centre’s Binnenwatersloot have been there for two years, illegally, and have not been removed.

You win some, you lose some.

(Link and photo: omroepwest.nl)

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January 16, 2021

Sailing from Rotterdam to Amsterdam (time-lapse video)

Filed under: Architecture,Film,History,Nature,Photography by Branko Collin @ 4:22 pm

In 2013 Shell had to transport an eight-story metal building from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.

They hired a company called The Timewriters to create a time-lapse video of the transport, which has now been released in glorious 4K format on YouTube, accompanied by a beautiful, if somewhat ill-fitting Dvořák piece.

The day-long journey begins on the Nieuwe Maas river near the Feijenoord neighbourhood in Rotterdam, then goes past Gouda, Alphen aan de Rijn and Schiphol Airport to end in Amsterdam. If it hadn’t been dark by then, you might even have been able to see my house at 9:14.

This is worth watching for the bridges alone.

And then you come back a second time for the places you know and a third time to figure out how and why the Dutch created their environment the way they did.

Also check out the comments on YouTube, lots of insights from people who recognise certain types of trains, planes and places.

(Source: YouTube / The Timewriters)

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January 9, 2021

André Rieu thinking about selling Stradivarius to save orchestra

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 12:21 pm

André Rieu

World-famous Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu, who featured on Dutch stamps and in an Australian soap opera, is considering selling his Stradivarius violin to keep his orchestra afloat.

The 71-year-old conductor is having a hard time doing nothing. Like many of his peers, he really misses performing. Rieu says he is ready to do everything to avoid firing his staff. Before that happens, he’ll sell his what should be a 1667 Stradivarius, which, for anybody who doesn’t know, is worth a few million euro, if not more.

Hopefully Rieu will be able to perform in his home of Maastricht, Limburg in the summer of 2021, but nobody should be holding their breath at this point.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo of André Rieu by Charlie1965nrw Some rights reserved)

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January 4, 2021

Dutch American Greg Shapiro’s 2020 in review

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 4:28 pm

Dutch American comedian, author and voice talent Greg Shapiro, best known as a member of the comedy group Boom Chicago and his viral Trump imitation, has produced two fun videos on the year 2020.

Yes, Greg does mentions that the Dutch will start vaccinating… as the last of all EU countries. And who gets vaccinated first keeps mutating as well. I think the Dutch government is phoning it in (‘making it up’) as they get pushed forward by the tide like a crushed sea shell on a deserted Dutch beach.

And this picture is a ski vacation nobody is having this winter.

2020 Year in Review – PART ONE | Greg Shapiro’s ‘United States of Europe’:

Dutch Late to Vaccinate? 2020 Year in Review pt 2 | Greg Shapiro’s United States of Europe

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December 31, 2020

The year 2020 on 24oranges – my favourite stories

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:55 am

Like every year I present you my favourite stories of the past twelve months.

As you might expect, there will be some coverage of the health crisis below. However, what might surprise you is that my top story is not a post, but a month. A virus makes a lousy protagonist, but a great prism. The things we take for granted can suddenly be seen in a different light. In April we only wrote covid-themed posts: about an artist stuck in the country because of the virus, about the impact on unsold potatoes and about the oldest survivor of the disease.

Another tale from the trenches was that of a Belgian beer store that suddenly found itself involuntarily included in a Dutch lockdown when Belgium closed its border with the Netherlands for non-essential traffic in May. At that time Bart Cuypers’ Bierparadijs could only be reached through the Netherlands.

Amsterdam and Utrecht have been inspecting their canal walls over the past year, and it was about time. In Amsterdam, one such wall actually collapsed in September. On the other hand, Utrecht ended up in the news when the city used ground-penetrating radar and found that there may be as many as 60 still undiscovered wharf cellars.

I don’t know which YouTuber taught me this, either Justin Rosniak or Not Just Bikes, but apparently it’s easier to find funds for large infrastructure projects (which require ribbon cuttings, flag placings and other assorted photo opportunities for politicians) than it is for day to day operations. That’s why things like the biggest bike bridge in Europe fill me with unease when I read about them. If we didn’t need such bridges before, then where did this suddenly spring from?

Other posts that tickled my fancy:

And finally, what should in a way be the ironic news of the year: Dutch shortage of medical devices on the horizon. Published in January, when covid-19 was still considered strictly a Chinese affair, the lesson here seems to be that we should not let capitalism be our only compass for value. Did we learn from it?

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December 25, 2020

Christmas time at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 1:50 pm

What a year! Who doesn’t need a break? We really do.

As far as postings go, we had a tough time keeping up in general this year, but a lot stuff has been sorted to be able to post more regularly. We’ve upgraded a lot of things in the background.

It’s Christmas day now, and the plan is to eat easy-to-make yet but nice Christmas food and watch a few Christmas classics.

Like every year, co-blogger Branko will come up with a list of his favourite stories of 2020, which should be online at some point.

If you need very different Christmas music, there’s always our friends at Christmas a Go Go!

Happy Holidays from 24oranges HQ! Stay safe and stay sane!

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