Keti Koti monument vandalised – or was it?

Keti Koti monument
Photo credit: Studio040 (Rogier Overvliet)

Unknown persons seemingly vandalised the temporary Keti Koti (cut chains) monument in the centre of Eindhoven this weekend. The statue had stood on De Dommel since Friday, in connection with Slavery Remembrance Day. This is a temporary work of art, supposed to remain in place for a few weeks.

Arantja Rosalina is a member of the 30 June/1 July Committee in Eindhoven: “I was told about it in the early evening on Sunday. It’s unfortunate that it happened, although it doesn’t necessarily mean it was deliberately destroyed.”

The 30 June/1 July Committee, partly on its own initiative, was heavily involved in the downtown festivities to commemorate the end of slavery exactly 150 years ago. Tommy van der Loo had been asked to create a work of art for the commemoration. The Tilburg artist descended from people from Curaçao who had been enslaved.


The artwork was a chain on a wooden pedestal. In the future, it was to be replaced by a permanent monument. “Making and placing it was made possible in part by subsidy from the municipality. It would be allowed to stand there for a few weeks, but now that it seems to have been ripped off its plinth and damaged beyond repair, we will have to remove it sooner,” says Rosalina.

“But first we want to talk to the municipality about how best to handle this. Maybe there are camera images showing exactly what happened. Someone may have accidentally damaged it or it may have been disabled by members of the nightlife crowd intentionally or unintentionally. We don’t know that yet.”

“Of course I was shocked when our committee was informed about the damage on Sunday evening. To speak of a hangover is going too far for me. The event was successful and the king has apologised. We are very happy about that.”

Camera footage

After seeing the camera images, however, the assumption of vandalism seems unfounded and Rosalina was right in reserving judgment. “It looks as if someone wanted to secure a bike onto the chain of the monument. When the monument teetered, the biker let go immediately. Later, when the biker had left, it fell off its base after all”, according to the municipality.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Martijn, edited by Greta

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