TG Masaryk and Rotterdam (2015) Hans Citroen

Max Dereta
About the artwork

In October 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, the Czech philosopher and politician Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk visits Rotterdam to secretly meet the British historian and publicist Robert W. Seton-Watson. In hotel Weimar on the Spaansekade, Masaryk shares his vision of Central Europe in a defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary and he sketches the contours of a new state, Czechoslovakia. Through Seton-Watson's memorandum of 5 November 1914, this vision is known abroad among the allies of the time, the United Kingdom, France and Russia. Masaryk manages to mobilize international support for Czechoslovakia during the First World War. From 1918 to 1935, Masaryk is the first president of Czechoslovakia. On 5 November 2015, exactly 101 year after Seton-Watson's memorandum, the monument designed by artist Hans Citroen became virtually the same location. TG Masaryk and Rotterdam revealed. From the Masaryk monument on the Geldersekade you look at the corner of the Spaansekade and the Haringvliet, where until the German bombing in hotel 1940 stood Weimar. Through the viewer you see the former hotel. The image is provided with a poetry line by Jana Béranova. Beneath the contours of the new Czechoslovakia are an image of President Masaryk and an explanation in four languages. The unveiling was celebrated in the presence of Mr Milan Štěch (President of the Senate of the Czech Republic), the ambassadors of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the Netherlands and Mr Frans Weisglas (former diplomat and former President of the Second Chamber). TG Masaryk and Rotterdam was carried out by the Czech bronze foundry HVH Foundry from Horní Kalná and Dick van Campenhout BV.

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About the artist

Hans Citroen (The Hague, 1947) followed the direction of painting from 1966 to 1969 at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague. Then he followed up to 1973 a course at the Ateliers 63 in Haarlem. With Bob van Persie he managed from 1974 to 1976 the smallest museum in the Netherlands: the legendary The Keikdoos Museum in Rotterdam Central Station. Citroen became known as an artist with Kunst & Vaarwerk, an artists' collective that he founded in 1979 with artists Cor Kraat and Willem van Drunen, and with which he played a major role in Rotterdam art history in the field of art in public space. In 2010 he made the book with his wife Barbara Starzyńska Auschwitz - Oświęcim. His book appeared in 2014 Auschwitz de Juden disastere about a forgotten platform.

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