A sweet mayor

Take good care of our city and each other

Recently, a small figure has been placed on the facade of pop temple Paradiso. The man looks relaxed and satisfied into the city. The city he loved and could call ‘his’ city. But the reverse was also true, the city and its inhabitants have embraced him. It is a statue of Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who died on October 5, 2017. He was Mayor of Amsterdam from July 7, 2010. On September 18, 2017, he had to resign because of illness. He was endeared by his great involvement with the citizens of Amsterdam.

In February 2017, after he announced that he was terminally ill, the artwork “Damsko Strijder” was placed on a metro entrance in the Wibautstraat. It was created by the artists collective Kamp Seedorf. Next to the image of Van der Laan is the text “Damsko warrior”. Damsko refers to the city and the warrior represents the street fighting mentality of Van der Laan. Unfortunately, the artwork was removed by an industrious municipal official.

After his death, voices arose to recreate this artwork. It eventually found its place on Mercatorplein. The artwork is now 8 meters high. The text “take good care of our city and each other” comes from the farewell note he wrote when he had to relinquish his mayorhood.

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