Bep van Klaveren (1992) Willem Verbon

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Bep van Klaveren grew up in Crooswijk and is the largest boxer the Netherlands has ever known. The Dutch Windmill was Olympic featherweight champion in 1928 and he became European champion in 1931 and 1938. This statue was created in 1992 on the occasion of the death of Van Klaveren at the age of 84. The statue, made by sculptor Willem Verbon, was unveiled by Theo Huizenaar, former boxing promoter and Van Klaveren's trainer for many years. Bep van Klaveren was brought about by a large collection campaign among residents and the municipality of Rotterdam also contributed a part. In 2001, the 78 meter-high Queen's Tower was built a few meters away from the statue.

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About the artist

Willem Verbon (Rotterdam, 1921 – there, 2003) took classes at the evening academy in the 1930s. Immediately after the Second World War, Verbon was commissioned to make a monument in honor of the Royal Air Force. He got one postgraduate scholarship offered by the British government and left for London for several years. In the early 1950s, Verbon returned to Rotterdam, where he moved into a studio in Oranjeboomstraat. His work mainly consists of figurative sculptures, usually representing historical figures. Verbon sculpted various statues and monuments for important Rotterdam residents and members of the Royal Family. Many of his works of art can be found in the public space of Rotterdam.

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