February 26, 2011

Bad Google! Germans want their harbour back

Filed under: General,Online by Branko Collin @ 3:19 pm

The citizens of the port of Emden want their harbour back. A minor snafu with Google Maps makes it appear that the harbour belongs to the Netherlands, not to Germany, Sueddeutsche.de reports. The city has tried to rectify the error. Spokes person Eduard Dinkela told the paper: “Google is one of the largest communications platforms on the Internet, yet I do not seem to be able to reach them.”

Although everybody agrees that it is silly to suggest the border runs through Emden’s harbour, the actual position of the border is disputed, Radio Netherlands writes:

Historically, the exact location of the border was never properly settled between the Netherlands and Germany, although nobody has ever suggested that Emden’s harbour is actually Dutch. Germany says that the border runs through the Dollard estuary, close to and just below the Dutch dykes that line it. The Dutch claim the border runs down the middle of the estuary. The issue is theoretical rather than contentious.

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May 14, 2010

Florentijn Hofman’s huge cuddly toys

Filed under: Animals,Art by Branko Collin @ 11:59 am

Writes Hofman:

A solo show inspired by the toys and cuddly sculptures of children, where the change of scale completely changes their function and feeling.

Hofman also took his exhibition on the (rail)road, where it works better in my opinion. A gallery is a canvas, a neutral background in front of which anything automatically becomes art. The railway station of Delfzijl (Hofman’s former home town) doesn’t have that stigma, and his plush animals look as out of place there as he intended.

See also:

(Photos: Trendbeheer / Florentijn Hofman.)

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April 29, 2009

Play about the birth of Maigret in Delfzijl

Filed under: Literature,Shows by Branko Collin @ 8:36 am

The story goes that Alfred Hitchcock phoned prolific French detective writer Georges Simenon (1903 – 1989) once, only to be told by the great man’s secretary that he could not be interrupted, as he had just started working on a new novel. “That’s all right,” Hitchcock said, “I’ll wait.”

In 1927 Simenon had his boat Ostrogoth built, a cutter modelled after the fishing vessels of the English Channel. In 1929, when he arrived in Delfzijl, Groningen, he noticed a leak, the repairs of which kept him there for four months. “I still have vivid memories of my discovery of this pink town, surrounded by dikes, with its walls that weren’t meant to keep out attackers, but were there to keep the streets from flooding with sea water during bad weather,” he writes in a companion article to the 1966 Dutch edition of Le Château des Sables Rouges.

He wrote that novel then and there (“I was still in the habit of writing two or three chapters a day back then”), and when he had finished it, he wondered what the next step would be. Drinking genever one morning in cafĂ© Het Paviljoen—two, three glasses?—he saw the outlines of a broad-shouldered man through the alcohol induced veils of his imagination. A pipe followed, a bowler hat, a warm overcoat with velvet collar. In short, a proper police commissioner.

Theater te Water will stage a play about the birth of this most famous of all French detectives, Jules Maigret, in Delfzijl starting May 12. The play, called Noord Moord (‘Northern Murder’), will be performed on a boat. Where else?

(Link: Dagblad van het Noorden. Photo of a Pieter d’Hont statue of a Georges Simenon character by Wikipedia user Gerardus, who released it into the public domain.)

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