By our entertainment editors
07 Sep 2023 at 16:24
Pieter van Vollenhoven opens the Open Monument Day for the last time this year. Princess Margriet’s 84-year-old husband has taken on this task for 34 years, but thinks it is time to pass on the baton.
I have now become a monument myself,” says Van Vollenhoven in the NPO Radio 5 program Open House. “It is good to now start thinking about younger monuments.”
Van Vollenhoven performs the opening ceremony as chairman of the Recommendation Committee of the Open Monument Day. A spokesperson for the organization says that it is not yet clear whether he will also resign as chairman.
Open Monument Day is organized every year in the second weekend of September by the Netherlands Monumentenland Foundation. The organization wants to make Dutch cultural heritage accessible and increase public interest in monuments and support for the preservation of monuments.
‘Largest cultural event in the Netherlands’
According to Van Vollenhoven, “the largest cultural event in the Netherlands” was introduced in 1987. Van Vollenhoven performed his first opening in 1989. He missed a number of openings over the years due to other commitments. Princess Margriet’s husband performed the opening 22 times in total. For the first two years, Prince Claus, Beatrix’s husband, who died in 2002, kicked off the day.
On September 9 and 10, the public can enter more than five thousand monuments throughout the Netherlands for free. Van Vollenhoven goes to the Aldermen’s Hall of the old town hall in Zwolle and gives a speech there. This will then be followed by an opening to the public on Grote Kerkplein with various performances.
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