Coming Saturday, April 30 2022 the statue of Erasmus, the famous thinker from Rotterdam, has been on its pedestal for exactly 400 years. To celebrate everybody is invited to turn a page in a book as an ode to peace.
The story goes that Erasmus turns a page of his book every day on the twelfth stroke of twelve o’clock. The bronze statue of Erasmus (born 1466 in Rotterdam – died 1536 in Basel) was made by Hendrick de Keyser and unveiled on April 30, 1622. It replaced previous wooden and stone statues of the humanist scholar. The statue of Erasmus is special because this is the first free-standing statue in the Netherlands and the first statue in Europe not erected for a royal or military person. It has been at its present location since 1963.
Exactly 500 years ago, in 1522, Erasmus wrote about ‘War and Peace’ in his series ‘Conversations’ (Colloquia). He stated that he was above all a pacifist. But that he understood that a country must defend itself when invaded by a power-hungry enemy. Unfortunately, five centuries later, this message is still fully topical. The Erasmus Committee, Icon of Rotterdam, therefore places the commemoration of 400 years of the Erasmus statue in the context of peace and the condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Committee invites all Rotterdammers and students to participate in the commemoration.
Program Saturday, April 30
11.30 AM. Rotterdammers and students gather with their favorite book at the statue of Erasmus at the Grotekerkplein in front of the Laurenskerk
11.45 AM Welcome and commemorative word for 400 years Erasmus statue by the Committee Erasmus, Icon of Rotterdam
12.00 PM All present turn their pages together with Erasmus on the twelfth stroke of the clock
12.00 PM The carillon of the Laurenskerk plays a compilation of Ukrainian folk songs and popular music
Cover: Iris van den Broek