Europe is well known for its classic art. Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael… oh wait those were the Ninja Turtles. Anyways, you know what I mean, Europe is classic. My city, Rotterdam, has its share of classic art. It is, however, the most modern city in the Netherlands (thanks to the Luftwaffe), and it is famous for its skyline and the abundance of freaky modern art in the public space.
One of the most recent editions to the streetscape of Rotterdam is also one of the most controversial. At first the statue, supposedly representing Santa Claus with a Xmas tree in hand, was placed hidden from the public eye in the patio of Boijmans Van Beuningen museum. Apparently there was much protest against it. People were a bit reluctant to have it at their doorstep. They were shocked. Dutch people. The same ones who introduced legal pot, gay marriage and euthanasia. Shocked by a piece of art. Let me repeat that – Dutch people were shocked. If you know the Dutch, you’ll understand how serious this is, and if you don’t know them, take my word for it – if you shock the Dutch with a piece of art, you really did something extraordinary.
I don’t know whether its the dirty mind of the locals or whether it is really obvious. But the statue was immediately nicknamed. And the nickname has nothing to do with Xmas. Judge for yourself whether it deserves it: