The pelican (1948) Johan van Berkel
Since 31 in March 1948 stands on a brick base on the edge of the Kralingse forest a large white-gray bird; the pelican made by sculptor Johan van Berkel. The statue is made of sand-lime brick. The pelican sits with spread wings sits on her nest with young. The whole is shown figuratively, but somewhat stylized. The statue stands at the place where the Roman Catholic church was from 1650 to 1802. The pelican who picks himself in the chest to feed her young is a Christian theme. It is a biblical metaphor for Christ, who sacrificed himself for humanity. "For Catholic Kralingen a reminder of the revival of Roman Catholic worship in these areas, but also for all Kralingers a sign to reflect on the wonderful history of the village, which underwent to be more prosperous.. "
Johan van Berkel (1913-1956) was a Dutch sculptor. Between 1927 and 1937 he learned the art of sculpting in the evening classes at the Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Sciences in Rotterdam. He was a plasterer during the day and later taught at a technical school. He was described as a promising artist at the time, but he died at a relatively young age.