Great crested grebe and chicks


Great crested grebe and chicks, The Hague 2014

Lizia was so kind to send me this beautiful photo of a great crested grebe with chicks; photo taken from the Houtrustbrug bridge in the Hague. On 19 July 2014, cloudy weather.

Girl with Pearl Earring, goldfinch, are back in The Hague


This March 2013 video from the de Young museum in San Francisco, USA, is called Opening Day of Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis.

Johannes Vermeer‘s famous seventeenth century painting Girl with a Pearl Earring had to leave the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, as that museum was reconstructed.

Now, that painting and other famous paintings are back at the Mauritshuis. Which is reopening: twice the size it used to be.

This video from the Netherlands is called Mauritshuis museum to reopen in June [2014] after revonation.

This is a Dutch video of today, about the Mauritshuis reopening.

This video is called How a Dutch Master Made ‘The Goldfinch‘ Come Alive.

It is about another painting returned now to the Mauritshuis, The Goldfinch, by Carel Fabritius.

The painting recently got in the news because of the novel of the same name by Donna Tartt.

This video is called BBC Culture: Donna Tartt shares The Goldfinch’s secret history.

Pearl of a museum: Vermeer shines among Dutch icons in new Mauritshuis: here.

Egyptian mother goose V3 and her goslings, another photo


Egyptian mother goose V3, another photo, May 2014

After the earlier photo by Lizia of Egyptian goose mother V3 and her goslings, now another photo from May 2014, close to the Museon museum in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Young Egyptian geese and their mother


Young Egyptian geese and their mother, June 2014

Lizia in the Hague sent me not only photos of common frogs and turtles; but also this photo of Egyptian goose goslings and their mother.

There is a story behind this photo. It was made close to the Segbroek stream near the Museon museum.

The mother goose in the picture has been ringed, with two rings, one blue, one white, with the letter V and the number 3. The letter V is on the white ring, righthand side and the number 3 is on the blue ring, lefthand side. She was known to Egyptian goose researchers as V3.

The photo is from 6 May 2014. Then, V3 had to care for the youngsters on her own. On 12 or 13 May, a car killed her. An animal rescue center took care of the goslings.

In 2013, V3 and her partner had six goslings; the same number as the Canada goose couple which they met often had in 2013. These Canada geese have been nesting in the Museon pond for five years now.

For several years V3 had her nest at the section of the brook across the President Kennedylaan, opposite the Museon museum.

The two couples met often (in 2013 and earlier) when the Canada Geese and their goslings crossed the busy President Kennedylaan to graze and to swim in this section of the brook.

Goose nests in the Hague

Here is Lizia’s map of the surroundings of the two nests.

This video is about catching Egyptian geese in the Zuiderpark in The Hague for ringing them.

Baby frog and turtle photos


Baby common frog, June 2014

Thanks to Lizia, after her earlier baby common frog photos, another baby common frog photo from a bank near the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Netherlands, made earlier this June.

Red-eared slider turtle, June 2014

And this photo of a feral red-eared slider turtle there, feeding.

Baby common frogs at museum pond


Young common frog, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, June 2014

Lizia in The Hague was so kind to send me her photos of baby common frogs, just past the tadpole stage, in the pond of the local Gemeentemuseum, early this June.

Young common frog, The Hague, June 2014

The young frogs have to watch out for feral turtles and grey herons.

World War I, art exhibition in The Hague


This is a video about German anti-war artist Käthe Kollwitz.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

World War I in art

Thursday, May 29th 2014, 07:25 (Update: 29-05-14, 08:01)

By our reporter Jeroen Wielaert

The craters, soldiers with gas masks, a clenched fist with the caption No More War. They are moving drawings about the First World War. Historical documents by Otto Dix and Käthe Kollwitz, part of the collection of the Gemeentemuseum, along with lesser-known Dutch work. Hell opens on Ascension Day, in the Berlage Cabinet of the The Hague museum. The exhibition is called simply “The Great War in pictures”.

Otto Dix was a German soldier; still optimistically, he entered the war and came out of it full of grim specters. He made numerous striking drawings about it. In The Hague there are only a few to see, but they all impress strongly, as critical hits full of commentary on the war.

Käthe Kollwitz lost a son already early in the war. He was killed in Flemish Diksmuide. On her posters she protested vehemently against the violence and its consequences. She drew widows, begging children. [Museum director] Tempel: “She campaigned against war, as if she sensed there would be another one.”

The Netherlands

The First World War in the Netherlands was very palpable, despite the neutral stance of the government. The artist Jan Toorop, who lived in Domburg in Zeeland, saw refugees from Belgium there and heard their stories. In pastel, he made an impressive picture of people in disaster, in a bombed city: Belgique Sanglante, Bleeding Belgium .

The Hague contemporary artist Harald [sic; Harold] de Bree leaves a little more to the imagination. A collage of him in the exhibition shows the barrel of a gun, a photograph of an internment barracks, a noose for strangling and a few strips of barbed wire.

Skulls

One wall is covered with front pages of the magazine De Nieuwe Amsterdammer. Piet van de [sic; der] Hem drew in April 1915 a skull with a long nose from which a gas stream descends into a trench full of soldiers.

Tempel also points to the hourglass on the cover of the magazine’s New Year edition. Skulls start to roll again, with the caption: “We start again from scratch.”

It is a century later, there is fighting in many places; war has not been eradicated yet.

See also here. And here.

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Wilders’ supporters’ nazi salutes


Wilders' supporters' nazi salutes

This photo, from a Dutch anti-racist blog, is from 21 September in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Dutch xenophobic party PVV had a meeting there then. Its leader, Geert Wilders, spoke. Some of the audience, as the photo shows, made nazi salutes.

Among Wilders’ audience were notorious nazis. People like Jeroen van den Berg, of the violent neo-nazi gang Blood and Honour. In 2011, police discovered illegal firearms at that group’s premises.

And like Paul Peters. Peters was convicted for vandalizing a Jewish cemetery, smashing part of the tombstones, and daubing nazi slogans like “Juden raus” [Jews out] and “Wir sind zurück” [We are back] on other graves.

Prince's flags at PVV meeting

As this photo shows, there were also so-called prince’s flags at Wilders’ meeting. In eighteenth century Dutch history, that was the flag of the political party which wanted to make the then Dutch republic more like a monarchy, under the dynasty of the princes of Orange. Their opponents, the “patriot” party, wanted a republic without any role for that dynasty; and red, white and blue flags, not orange, white and blue.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the prince’s flag was revived by the Dutch nazi party, the NSB. Today, various extreme right groups use it. In 2011, PVV members of parliament hung prince’s flags at their office windows. They removed the flags after media publicized them.

The prince’s flag was also the model for the South African flag during apartheid rule; from 1928 till 1994, when the current South African flag replaced it.

When Geert Wilders started his political career, he was a member of the VVD party (“center Right”; now the biggest party in the Dutch coalition government). Early in this century, Pim Fortuijn (writing his name as the more aristocratic sounding “Fortuyn”) represented political Islamophobia in the Netherlands. VVD MP Wilders and Fortuijn then had a debate on TV. In the debate, Wilders denied Fortuijn’s allegations about Islam being a problem.

After Fortuijn’s death, Wilders thought there were career opportunities as a leader in the Islamophobic political niche market. He founded his own PVV party. With himself as its only member, making it impossible for supporters to ever depose him as party leader.

When the PVV started, Wilders dissociated himself from extreme Right parties like Vlaams Belang in Belgium and National Front in France (as Pim Fortuijn had done before). His members of the European Parliament did not, at least not officially, join up with any parties from other countries. Recently, however, Wilders built fraternal links of his party with Vlaams Belang and with National Front leader Le Pen. So, he definitely is on a slippery slope, further and further towards the extreme Right.

Row after four MPs wear badges in Dutch parliament featuring neo-Nazi insignia: here.

USA: Filmmakers Release Trailer of Documentary About Neo-Nazi’s Plan for Racist Enclave in North Dakota: here.

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