Spelend kind

Het Spelend Kind was designed by Louis Schutte over 50 years ago. The reason for this was the completion of the new primary school: the Raagten. Louis made the design to scale and in clay. The design was elaborated by Toon van Zutven (drawn to scale) and welded from ship's steel in Ben van Meelis' workshop at the Brandstraat in Beek en Donk. This was done under Louis' supervision. Whenever Toon was in doubt about lines or proportions, Louis took over and decided. Wout Smits and Harrie Gruijters also worked on the sculpture. The assignment was 'rough cutting' and 'rough welding'. In addition, the statue had to rust, which was ahead of its time.

It was transported by aerial …

Het Spelend Kind was designed by Louis Schutte over 50 years ago. The reason for this was the completion of the new primary school: the Raagten. Louis made the design to scale and in clay. The design was elaborated by Toon van Zutven (drawn to scale) and welded from ship's steel in Ben van Meelis' workshop at the Brandstraat in Beek en Donk. This was done under Louis' supervision. Whenever Toon was in doubt about lines or proportions, Louis took over and decided. Wout Smits and Harrie Gruijters also worked on the sculpture. The assignment was 'rough cutting' and 'rough welding'. In addition, the statue had to rust, which was ahead of its time.

It was transported by aerial platform to its final destination at the then recently built Raagten on Lage Heesweg. The statue was placed on a large plinth in the middle of the school. It stood there until the old school was demolished. Over the years, some pieces have come loose and disappeared, and the statue was in need of a repair and refurbishment.

Initiative for relocation
A few years ago Ine van Empel (mother of a pupil at the Raagten) and Lukas Schutte (son of the now deceased artist) wondered what would happen to the sculpture 'Het Spelend Kind'. Ine then approached the municipality and discussed the matter. It soon became clear that the sculpture would be given a new purpose. Together with Lukas' mother and sister, and Ine, they had several follow-up discussions about what would be a good place for the sculpture and what needed to be done to reinstate it. The most logical place for all concerned was obviously found at Kindcentrum de Raagten, on the Otterweg, the school for which the statue was once made!

Restoration operation
It was decided to have the sculpture blasted to restore the original, even layer of rust. To do this, the statue had to be removed from its base and transported to the blaster. 

In the end a number of volunteers unbolted the statue and transported it to the blasting plant. After treatment it was transported to Gemert to be welded. Toon van Zutven was of course willing to think along with us about the refurbishment and to help with the welding / reconstruction of the missing pieces on the statue. During the welding, Toon could tell a lot about the time he was working on the statue. With (limited) photographic material and the memory of Toon van Zutven the statue has been restored to its former glory. The municipality has developed a beautiful pedestal, matching the sculpture and the new location.

Contact

Address:
Otterweg 29
5741BC Beek en Donk
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