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Every day, thousands of people pass the Dorpsstraat in Aarle-Rixtel and drive past the old town hall. The building, which dates from 1855 (ori…
Every day, thousands of people pass the Dorpsstraat in Aarle-Rixtel and drive past the old town hall. The building, which dates from 1855 (originally a teacher's house and school), has a beautiful staircase at the front (an addition to the building from 1935) with a plaque on the wall to the left of it. A natural stone slab with iron against it. A special design, because of a special reason. Artist Gert van Kraay was commissioned by the committee 50 years of liberation to make a work of art to commemorate the fact that Aarle-Rixtel was liberated 50 years earlier in the Second World War. Now, more than 25 years later, not many people dwell on the plaque with this special meaning. And Van Kraay did not just do something with the iron. The war is symbolised by the rusty iron, with sharp edges and capricious shapes. The stainless steel bar in the middle symbolises peace. Stainless steel, reinforced with titanium, so it will never rust. The shape is not capricious but round, no hooks and eyes. According to Van Kraay, the round shape symbolises the enduring nature of peace. That there is a sloping surface at the top is also for a reason. It is the doubt about whether we can keep the peace.
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