Queen Wilhelmina (1999) Willem Verbon
A bronze figure has been sitting in the courtyard of the court building on the Wilhelminaplein since 1999, Queen Wilhelmina presenting at a seat. The statue was made by sculptor Willem Verbon, who met Queen Wilhelmina several times during the war years. In her one hand she carries a fan as a sign of royal dignity, in the other hand she holds a Bible. On her chest she wears the Grand Cross of the Military William Order. The image refers to the moment in 1948 when Wilhelmina decided to add the words 'Stronger through Battle' to the city arms of Rotterdam. She did this "as a reminder of the courage and strength with which the people of Rotterdam have endured all the trials of the war and the important part that they have taken in the liberation of the country."
Willem Verbon (Rotterdam, 1921-2003) took classes at the evening academy in the 50s. Immediately after the war, Verbon was commissioned to make a monument in honor of the Royal Air Force. He was offered a postgraduate scholarship by the British government and left for London for a few years. In the early XNUMXs, Verbon returned to Rotterdam, where he moved into a studio in Oranjeboomstraat. Verbon sculpted various statues and monuments for important Rotterdammers and members of the Royal Family. Much of his work can be found in Rotterdam.