The inauguration of the beetle in the pond next to Forum should become a large, ‘spontaneous’ celebration. Initiator professor Marten Scheffer call to everyone to contribute.
The beetle is to become the prime selfie spot on campus. © Vang Iversen
The ‘beetle’ refers to the sculpture entitled ‘Must Leave’ created by Danish artist Vang Iversen. The Dane is currently finishing the water beetle which, with a wingspan exceeding five metres, is to become the attraction in the water in front of Forum. The statue will be transported to campus in parts and placed in the pond in the week prior to Wednesday 16 May, the day of its inauguration.
That Wednesday at 17:00, after the last lectures have ended, the inauguration should become a kind of spontaneous multicultural celebration. At least, that is what Scheffer (professor of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management) aims for. ‘I realise the idea is somewhat wild, but I cannot help being a romantic.’ However, whether he is a romantic or not, Scheffer does not leave everything to chance. He already arranged a few aspects required for a good celebration.
For example, the presence of student orchestras WSKOV and De Ontzetting. Scheffer: ‘After the lectures, they will be awaiting the students next to the exits of Forum and Orion, to act as a Pied Piper of sorts and lure them toward the pond.’ At the pond, President of the Executive Board Louise Fresco and Scheffer will take care of the official ceremonial aspects and talks. ‘Star chef’ Jeroen van Rosevelt, the caterer of the Leeuwenborch, will contribute something for the inner self of the attendees.
Other than that, Scheffer calls upon the students and staff. He appeals to everyone to ‘bring something tasty from their own cultural background’. ‘The idea is to create a cultural exchange between people from all parts of the world.’ And to those that play a musical instrument: bring it and join in the jam. In Scheffer’s eyes, this should help create a cheerful, informal happening. Those who would like to perform or who have ideas can contact him.
According to Scheffer, this cultural exchange perfectly encompasses the symbolism of ‘Must Leave’. The beetle lifting off portrays migration and the innovation brought along with it. ‘Especially here in Wageningen, where so many different cultures meet. This meeting always produces something beautiful.’ According to Scheffer, the pond with the beetle will become the most popular selfie spot on campus.
Meanwhile, the crowdfunding campaign for the artwork has been less successful. Despite the goal of 5000 euros, a mere 1965 euros was collected. Scheffer does not think this will be a problem. He will pay whatever lacks from his own pocket. That is: using the Spinoza Prize he received. Scheffer: ‘I can spend part of the funds on societal goals. This artwork will get people thinking about the relation between science and society, between the effects of migration on ecosystems and societies.’