Courier (1959) Wessel Couzijn
This bronze sculpture on the facade of the Slaakhuys was made by the Prix de Rome winner Wessel Couzijn, an important Dutch artist. Previously the publisher De Arbeiderspers was established here and was the office of the newspaper Het Vrije Volk. The Slaakhuys rose between 1952 and 1954 and was designed by government architect Jo Vegter. This bronze plastic with the title Courier, one can see it as "a courier in flying hurry, symbol of the news spreader". It was a gift from the departments of the Labor Party, from the NVV, from the Women's Unions, from the VARA and other cultural organizations of the socialist movement in South Holland, as well as from the staff, deliverers and agents of Het Free People. On 6 June 1959 it was unveiled by Mr. JM van Poelje. In 1976, Het Vrije Volk moved to the center. The building was then used by the Kralingen district for several years, and was subsequently squatted. The building has had a living and shopping function since 2018.
Wessel Couzijn (Amsterdam, 1912 - Haarlem, 1984) studied at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, where he was taught by Prof. dr. Jan Bronner. Shortly after his graduation in 1936 he won the Prix de Rome. In 1940 he fled to New York. In the 1960s he gained national and international fame. Two sculptures by his hand can be found in Rotterdam, namely Corporate Entity to the Weena and the work Courier on the case of the Slaakhuys near Oostplein.