News - November 4, 2010

Pillar and Bernard are not related

An article in last week's Resource about the 'Freedom Fire' monument being an everlasting reminder of Prince Bernhard has ignited a flurry of comments. To clear the air, Resource makes a phone call to Hanshan Roebers, the artist.

Roebers created the pillar five years ago. This work of art has been stored away since that time. It will finally be erected in front of student society Ceres.
Did you have the prince in mind when you were making this work of art?
'The freedom fire has nothing whatsoever to do with Prince Bernhard. It was designed to emphasize the eternal freedom of Wageningen as the city of liberation.'
How did the connection come about?
'Things went 'wrong' because the prince passed away when I was making it. I don't exactly know what happened, except that I was told that a group of Wageningers started a rumour, and the Telegraaf picked it up.'
Some people find that the Freedom Fire looks like a phallus.
'Nobody on the art committee had intended to draw any parallel between it and a sex organ. It is an obelisk, a symbol of freedom. It moves so slowly to and fro that you don't notice it. That symbolizes the dynamics of the notion 'freedom'.
Tom Rijntjes and Nicolette Meerstadt