Tribute to whom tribute is due

Every time I go to a city for the first time, I try to pick my favourite place, and it becomes that spot which for me represents it. For example, every time I think about London, Trafalgar Square is the first place that comes to my mind. It stands for everything that the city has: the beautiful fountains and the impressive Nelson’s column, the National Gallery, and you can even see the Big Ben and the glare from the London Eye.

Choosing my favourite place in Amsterdam was really simple. It took me three seconds to be in the Rembrandtplein (or Rembrandt Square) to discover that it was so special and so magic that it was my spot. Is actually a small and cosy square, right in the middle of the city, where the main feature is a statue of Rembrandt.

The Rembrandt statue by itself is beautiful, but what makes it really impressive is that in 2006, four hundred years after the artist was born, they incorporated his masterpiece, The Night Watch, to his own statue. Now you can see Rembrandt, one of the greatest painters that the world has ever seen, surrounded by his own work. It is a 3D version such an important painting, displayed in the Rijksmuseum, also in Amsterdam. You can walk through the many bronze pieces and you can even hold hands with the Captain Frans Banning Cocq and pet the little dog barking at you.

The_Nightwatch_by_Rembrandt

Rembrandt statue in Amsterdam's Rembrandtplein.
Rembrandt statue in Amsterdam’s Rembrandtplein.

Rembrandtplein2

By far is my favourite spot in Amsterdam, and definitely I was happy to see a huge monument dedicated to an artist. What I consider to be the worst part of London is that all the monuments are dedicated to the Royal Family (or even to someone that wasn’t even a King!), or to honour something related to war: Capitains, Marines and the defeated in the wars. There is even a huge monument near Hyde Park in honour to the animals in war.

Tribute to Animals in War, near Hyde Park.
Tribute to Animals in War, near Hyde Park.

Of course I think that those people that dedicated their lives to defend this great country deserve the biggest monument, however, the UK has seen the greatest artist and scientists that changed our world, but they don’t seem to be the british pride. Scientists as important as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin or James Watt and artists like Walter Scott and Oscar Wilde might have a small plaque in Westminster Abbey, but they don’t have a huge monument or column, like Admiral Horatio Nelson and his Trafalgar Square. It seems to me that they consider that the best that the UK has ever produced is the army.

I am sure that if Darwin would have been born in the Netherlands, he would have a whole square for himself and maybe even a 3D version of his Evolution Theory. Or maybe if the british weren’t such a warlike country, you would go to Newton Sq., and not Trafalgar Sq., only to find him on top of the column, throwing you an apple.

Tribute to whom tribute is due.

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