TG Masaryk and Rotterdam (2015) Hans Citroen

photo Otto Snoek
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 the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary and sketches the contours of a new state, Czechoslovakia. Via Seton-Watson's memorandum of November 5, 1914, this vision is made known abroad to 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 was the first president of CzechoslovakiaOn November 5, 2015, exactly 101 years after Seton-Watson's memorandum, the monument designed by artist Hans Citroen was erected on almost the same location. TG Masaryk and Rotterdam disclosed. From the Masaryk monument on the Geldersekade you can look at the corner of the Spaansekade and the Haringvliet, where the Hotel Weimar stood until the German bombing in 1940. Through the viewer you can see the then hotel. The image features a line of poetry by Jana Béranova. Below the outline of the new Czechoslovakia is 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 Lower House). 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) studied painting at the Royal Academy for Visual Arts in The Hague from 1966 to 1969. He then followed a course at Ateliers 1973 in Haarlem until 63. With Bob van Persie he managed the smallest museum in the Netherlands from 1974 to 1976: the legendary The Keikdoos Museum in the Rotterdam Central Station. Citroen became known as an artist with Kunst & Vaarwerk, an artist collective that he founded in 1979 with artists Cor Kraat and Willem van Drunen, and with which he played a major role in Rotterdam's 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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