Jan Hart

October 2006
On the 14th of May 1940 Rotterdam was bombed. The people of Rotterdam like to think back of the old city of Rotterdam.

Meanwhile Rotterdam underwent a hart transplant and was reborn. There is much reason for optimism, because Rotterdam is a vibrant city once again. There is a lot to do and see in Rotterdam. People from outside the city are coming back to Rotterdam, because Rotterdam is ‘real’ and truly special.

To celebrate this process I would like to give a signal to the city by creating a new monument. We must look ahead and into the future again. The bombed heart of the city is back, Rotterdam has a new heart. We must make this heart visible.

The signal I want to create is a sculpture, inspired by another sculpture ‘De Verwoeste Stad’ by Ossip Zadkine, the icon of the bombardment of the city of Rotterdam. ‘Stad zonder Hart’ (City without a Heart), ‘Jan Gat’ (Jan Hole), ‘Jan met de handjes’ (Jan with the hands) are all nicknames for the sculpture, because of the dramatic figure, without a heart, reaching out for the sky.
The plan is to create an exact copy of the heart (just the heart) of the sculpture ‘De Verwoeste Stad’, and pour this into bronze. The left out heart, in the exact measurements and volume of the hole in the Zadkine sculpture, is the art piece. The heart is the new symbol for the past, the present and the future. The heart of Rotterdam is beating again.

A good location would be ‘de Bijenkorf’ (in 1953 ‘de Bijenkorf’ donated the sculpture ‘De Verwoeste Stad’ to the city). A different option would be to place it on the sculpture route between Central Station and Museum Boymans van Beuningen.

Besides the ‘Jan Hart’ sculpture I also want to make a series of jewelry under the name ‘Jan Hartjes’, so you can hang it around your neck or pin it on a jacket. This way it can truly become a symbol.
many thanks: Vincent Petit
photo’s: Frank Hanswijk