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No Dutch woman has been portrayed quite so often as Princess Beatrix. Throughout her entire life and particularly during her reign as Dutch queen, countless bronze, stone, glass and ceramic statues and plaques have been made in her image for official display in public buildings all over the Netherlands. And whilst these mesmerising portraits were removed upon the coronation of King Willem-Alexander, they have been retained for the public and are currently showing at the Havixhorst Sculpture Park in De Schiphorst (at Meppel).
It is evident from the sheer number of Princess Beatrix statues and plaques now exhibiting at the Havixhorst Sculpture Park, that there was much more to the coronation of King Willem-Alexander than first meets the eye. Indeed, some three hundred to four hundred portraits have since been removed from public spaces, such as Dutch town halls, provincial buildings and courts, and now feature in the fascinating exposition. Most were created by famous Dutch artists, including Baron Speyart van Woerden, Jac. Maris, Fons Bemelmans, Mari Andriessen, Pieter de Monchy, Sylvia Willink, Anna van der Horst, Martien Hendriks and Jeroen Henneman.
Havixhorst Sculpture Park is located in the pretty gardens of the delightful Chateauhotel, and is part of the “Stichting Het Drentse Landschap” (Foundation of Drenthe Landscape). The gardens are open daily from 11.00 to 17.00 and are free to enter, making them an ideal day out, especially during the forthcoming Pinksterweekend (Pentecostal holiday) in the Netherlands. The Sculpture Park has released a beautiful 96-page catalogue containing exquisite illustrations of all the works on show, which can be purchased for a mere 5 euros – a lovely Dutch souvenir that’s also a must-have for the serious royal collector.
The Princess Beatrix exhibition runs from 18th May to 31st October, 2014.
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