Dutch author Judith Herzberg protests against king’s Argentine dictatorship links

Ms Judith Herzberg accepts the P.C. Hooft literature prize in 1997

This photo shows Dutch author Ms Judith Herzberg, when she accepted the P.C. Hooft literature prize for her poetry in 1997.

Ms Herzberg is from a Jewish family, and went into hiding from the nazi occupiers of the Netherlands as a child. Her parents were deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but survived; contrary to Anne Frank and her sister Margot.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Judith Herzberg resigns at Resistance Museum in protest against king

Today, 08:08

Poet and playwright Judith Herzberg has resigned from the recommending committee of the Resistance Museum in Amsterdam. Her reason is the opening by King [Willem-Alexander] of the exhibition about political prisoners [in Dachau concentration camp] No numbers but names in April this year.

According to Herzberg, the museum should have asked someone else, because Willem-Alexander‘s father-in-law, Jorge Zorreguieta, is accused to have been involved in the disappearance of political prisoners in Argentina at the time of the Videla [military] regime. Herzberg resigned for that reason in August as a member of the committee of recommendation.

“I do not understand how he had the nerve to open this exhibition in the Resistance Museum,” Herzberg wrote in a letter that came into the hands of NRC Handelsblad daily. “He thought it was “an honour”? Didn’t he realize that this was an insult, especially in the Resistance Museum, to those who lost their lives? Doesn’t he see any parallel with the criminal regime in Argentina, when between 10 000 and 30 000 ‘numbers’ were made to disappear? And why did you ask especially him to open this exhibition? And talk with young people on that occasion? What should young people learn from that?”

Not in the Netherlands

Herzberg was at the time of the opening not in the Netherlands. That King Willem-Alexander had opened the exhibition, she heard later. After some thought, she decided that she did not want to be any longer on the recommendation committee, she says to the NOS.

Herzberg asked the chairman of the Resistance Museum, Hans Blom, to send the letter to the 24 other members of the committee of recommendation. Of these, three or four people responded, Blom told the newspaper. One person agreed with Herzberg. That was professor emeritus and former Director of Human Rights at the UN, Theo van Boven.

Years in jail for insulting Thai royal dog?

Men pose next to a 10-metre high dog statue, part of the promotional effort for a film based on Thai royal dog Tongdaeng's life. photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Thai factory worker faces jail for insulting the king’s dog online

A best-selling book about the dog, named Tondaeng, describes her as a ‘respectful dog with proper manners’

Doug Bolton

A Thai factory worker could go to prison for a “sarcastic” post on social media in which he disparaged the king’s dog, Tongdaeng.

The worker, Thanakorn Siripaiboon, faces years in prison for his crimes, which include sedition and insulting the king.

As the New York Times reports, Siripaiboon’s lawyer, Anon Numpa, said the precise insult towards the dog was not specified in the military court where he was charged.

Siripaiboon is also accused of sharing a post on Facebook that alleged corruption in the construction of a monument to previous Thai kings.

The unusual case draws attention to the increasing harsh penalties handed to those who criticise the country’s king, queen, heir apparent or regent. Since a military coup in Thailand last year, authorities have been cracking down on any type of dissent.

Numpa still expressed surprise that the law that forbids criticism of the royals would be extended to the king’s dog, however.

Siripaiboon was arrested at his Bangkok home last week, and had his arraignment on Monday.

Tongdaeng, or Copper, was a stray rescued by Thailand’s ailing 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1998.

A book, titled The Story of Tongdaeng, was written by the king in 2002 and became an instant bestseller in the country. An animated film, based on the stories in the book, also went to number two at the Thai box offices after its release last week.

In the book, Tongdaeng is described as a “respectful dog with proper manners,” who is also “humble” and “knows protocol.”

The book also notes that Tongdaeng respectfully droops her ears and lowers to the floor in the presence of the King.

According to Numpa, the next step in the case will be Siripaiboon’s indictment, but no date has yet been set by authorities.

The Bangkok-based printer of the International New York Times removed this story from the 14 December 2015 print edition of the paper: here.

LOVE YOUR SHRIMP? IT MAY HAVE BEEN PEELED BY SLAVES Modern-day slaves in Thailand may be providing your favorite seafood dish. [AP]

Slaves are used to peel and process shrimp that finds its way in to many major supermarkets and shrimp companies around the world, according to an investigative report by the Associated Press (AP) published last week. At Gig Peeling Factory in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, slaves work 16-hour days, waking up as early as 2 AM with the command, “Get up or get beaten.” Peeling shrimp in ice buckets, small children work alongside their parents, often crying, as their cold hands become numb in the troughs of shrimp: here.

Thai crown prince’s poodle, Air Chief Marshal Foo Foo, has been cremated. Death has prompted surge in coded social media comments on the subject, in a country where it is illegal to openly discuss royal succession: here.

British sexually abusive Bishop Peter Ball and Prince Charles

This video from Britain says about itself:

Church Inquiry Into Bishop Peter Ball Abuse Cover Up

The Church of England has announced an independent inquiry into allegations of a cover up of sexual abuse in the church, looking at whether the behaviour of a former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, was overlooked because of his connections within the church and the establishment.

Originally broadcast on the BBC on October 5th, 2015.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Links probe: Prince and the groper

Saturday 28th November 2015

Charles’s ‘supportive letters’ to be scrutinised

THE royals are set be dragged into an investigation as to whether Prince Charles made “inappropriate attempts” to interfere in the case of a pervert bishop, it was was revealed yesterday.

Prince Charles is alleged to have written letters of support to former bishop Peter Ball, 83, before the religious leader was “cautioned” for gross indecency in 1993 after sex abuse claims were exposed.

Ball was jailed for 32 months in October after admitting to sexually abusing 18 young aspiring priests who he let stay in his home as part of his “Give a Year to Christ Foundation” 22 years ago.

Clarence House was forced then to deny that Charles got involved in the judicial process on behalf of Ball, former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who had described the prince as his “loyal friend.”

Current — and former — MPs, councils and schools were also revealed on Friday to be the focus of 12 investigations into child sex abuse after a number of “high-profile” allegations have been made.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who is leading the “ambitious” inquiry, said that “certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster” will be scrutinised.

Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale councils will also be probed in the wake of sex abuse claims, as well as Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

Residential school Knowl View in Manchester and Cambridge House boys’ hostel in Rochdale will also be investigated over allegations that the late Rochdale Lib Dem MP, Cyril Smith, had molested children on both sites.

Ms Goddard continued: “The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.

“It will consider allegations of cover-up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.”

The investigations are set to be part of Britain’s largest-ever public inquiry.

Archbishop and MPs wrote in support of bishop later convicted of sexual offences. Raft of public figures stepped forward to defend Peter Ball in letters revealed after freedom of information requests: here.

Prince Charles: The 15-page contract that reveals how the Prince of Wales tries to control the media. Behind the soft-focus image you see on television lies a ruthless machine that demands control of every aspect of interviews: here.

Prince Charles has been routinely sent secret Cabinet papers for decades. Revelation after FoI battle follows release of so-called ‘black spider memos’ sent by the Prince to ministers: here.

Unelected Prince Charles sees cabinet papers before elected ministers: here.

Dutch seventeenth century paintings censored by British royal

A Village Fair with a Church Behind, by Isaac van Ostade, censored version

After what happened to Bronzino … after what happened to Nicolas Poussin … after what Silvio Berlusconi did to Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Prudish British monarch had Dutch painting painted over

Today, 17:51

A man crouching in a corner of the market, defecating. The British royal family did not like that and had the 1643 Dutch painting painted over. Curators from the private collection of Buckingham Palace have found out, and have restored the painting.

It involves A Village Fair with a Church Behind by Isaac van Ostade. The discovery was made in the preparations for an exhibition of masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age.


In 1810 the painting was purchased by King George IV. But he is, according to the British curator, not responsible for the censorship of the scene. “He was a man of the world and had no problems with indecent scenes.” One of his successors who appreciated the scene less will have ordered this camouflage.

Quinten Buvelot, curator at the Mauritshuis museum, says it is not clear when the censorship was done, but is not surprised. “In the Victorian era, people were more prudish. This happened at many more times.”

Buvelot is on behalf of the Mauritshuis involved in the exhibition. He calls the find no exception. “The Dutch painters showed many details. Also a different painting from that collection was painted over.”

Jan Steen painting, uncensored version

That is a Jan Steen from 1673. On it, a man peeing was painted over. An X-ray scan discovered that detail earlier, and the work was restored.

The Dutch curator is pleased that the paintings will soon hang in their original state in the The Hague museum. “You want to show them as the artist intended.”

Starting next week, you can see the 27 paintings at Buckingham Palace in London. End of September next year, the exhibition will travel to the Netherlands. Until early 2017 the works will be in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

Queen’s restorers discover man relieving himself in royal collection painting – but can you find him in the picture? Here. See also here.

Adam And Eve Finally Naked Again After Prudish (And Super Awkward) Cover-Up. How one museum scraped away a botched attempt at censorship: here.