No one would accuse Friesland of not having enough horses, but apparently they needed one more: Het Peerd van Ome Loeks. A replica of the eye-catching Groningen statue popped up across the border in Friesland on the sea wall.
Translation by Traci White
The collective called Wadden uit de schaduw has told RTV Noord that a replica of the statue was brought to Friesland to draw attention to the region and to promote the play “De Stormruiter”, which features hundreds of black Frisian horses and one white horse. The reasoning behind the promotional activitiy seems a bit flawed, however: every single performance of the show is sold out.
The city of Groningen was startled to discover one of its best known artworks, Het Peerd van Ome Loeks, had gone missing overnight from it spot at the entrance to the Groningen train station. The Groninger Internet Courant lists the theories that began swirling about the horse’s whereabouts: was it FC Twente fans trying to pull off a joke? A guerilla marketing stunt by a local political faction? A bizarrely early New Years Eve prank?
By Tuesday afternoon, the Groningen-based maintenance company NBK confirmed that Wagenborg Nedlift had removed the statue and brought it to a warehouse, but it was still unclear why the statue was taken away in the dead of night. The company claimed they were going to carry out maintenance on the statue, but the artwork has reportedly already undergone a cleaning.
Then, around 2 p.m., the distinctive statue of a grazing horse and a man standing next to him were spotted at Banthoeke, a section of the sea wall on the Frisian side of Lauwersoog. On a Twitter account named Wadden uit de schawduw (Wadden out of the shadows) posted a series of photos of four men wearing suits carrying the statue along the dike.
“Our goal is to raise more awareness of the Wadden Sea area between Den Helder and Delfzijl”, Sieger Dijsktra told Dagblad van het Noorden. The replica statue may be the first of a series of annual pranks to get people talking about the region.
Photo source: Koos Boertjens/Twitter