Lodewijk Pincoffs (1998) Willem Verbon

BKOR archive
About the artwork

In 1998 the great-grandson revealed this bronze statue of the famous Jewish harbor baron, merchant, shipping company and politician Lodewijk Pincoffs (Rotterdam, 1827 - New York, 1911). It is no coincidence that this image was placed here, because between 1849 and 1879, Pincoffs played an important role in the development of the Entrepot area. He was the one who raised the Poortgebouw and the Veemand 'The Five Continents'. At the age of 28, Pincoffs came to 1856 in the Rotterdam city council. There he developed into an authoritative councilor to whom people listened carefully. In 1858 he became a member of the Provincial States of South Holland and in 1872 he became the first Jewish Dutchman to become a member of the Senate. He rejected an offer in 1877 to become finance minister. He played an important role in the development of the Rotterdam ports and was the first entrepreneur who dared to establish his business on the southern bank of the Maas. But Pincoffs is also notorious because he has one of the biggest accounting scandals in Dutch history to his name. In 1879 he fled to America after this major fraud had come to light and he turned out to be deeply in debt. This image is therefore not a tribute to the man himself, but it symbolizes the developments at the Kop van Zuid. Sculptor Willem Verbon has portrayed him as a depressed and disappointed person who was about to leave Rotterdam. On the plaque is the text in English: "An example of so much triumph and so much shame". Verbon already made the image in 1994. Due to delays in construction, it took another four years for the sculpture to find its place.

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About the artist

Willem Verbon (Rotterdam, 1921-2003) attended classes at the evening academy in the 1930s. Immediately after the war, Verbon was commissioned to create a monument in honor of the Royal Air Force. He was offered a post-graduate scholar ship by the British government and left for London for a few years. In the early years of 50, Verbon returned to Rotterdam, where he moved into a studio in the Oranjeboomstraat. Verbon sculpted various statues and monuments for important people from Rotterdam and members of the Royal Family. A lot of his work can be found in Rotterdam.

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