Organisation - October 16, 2019

Lost statue wasting away on campus

Roelof Kleis

The long-lost stone wall carving Agriculture and Horticulture by artist Cor Hund has been found. Exposed to wind and weather at a storage place on the edge of the campus.

© Roelof Kleis.

The wall carving graced the front of the Laboratory for Crop Science on the Haarweg from 1953 until the building was demolished in 2010. The artwork was spared and temporarily stored on campus behind Zodiac. Then it disappeared, says Laurens van der Zee, curator of the website Sculptures in Wageningen. Until a second appeal on the Resource website got a response from Rolf Marteijn (Nutrition and Health). ‘I thought I had seen a statue that looked like that.’ On checking, it proved that he had indeed spotted the lost artwork. Hubert Krekels, chair of the WUR Cultural Heritage Committee was pleasantly surprised. ‘We are very pleased. Given the state the sculpture is in, we shall first see whether it need restoration and whether there is funding for that.’


How long the artwork has been lying behind Theia data centre on the Bornsesteeg is anyone’s guess. It has weathered and is covered in moss. Krekels thinks it got lost during all the moves and construction projects of the past few years. Meanwhile an inventory has been made of all the art WUR owns. Krekels: ‘We have made agreements on how to prevent this sort of situation arising in future.’ Cor Hund (1915-2008) was a sculptor and advertising illustrator. He won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1947. The work Agriculture and Horticulture (1.5 by 1.5 metres) shows a woman carrying sheaves of wheat and a man beside her with some of the harvest on his knee.

The question remains what the honest finder of the carving was doing in the remote corner of the campus behind Theia. ‘You can ask me that, no problem,’ says Marteijn. ‘There are several containers there and their contents include event material for the AID. As an AID ‘crew’ member I sometimes have to go there.’