Out of Focus








On the night of Saturday, Nov. 27, to Sunday, Nov. 28, 2011, a bronze statue on Apple Street was robbed. That morning, local residents found only a pair of feet on the pedestal. The figure of the juggling clown had been brutally sawed off. This Clown by sculptor Peter van der Meer had only been standing in the median near the stores for a few months. In a short time, two bronze sculptures by this artist were stolen. Presumably the thieves were after the bronze.

If a sculpture owned by the municipality is stolen, the caretaker reports the theft to the police. Unfortunately, it is often the case that neither the artwork nor the perpetrators are found. Therefore, a call to everyone to keep an eye on the works of art in the neighborhood and alert the police in case of danger. Perhaps together we will succeed in further preventing theft. In the meantime, the municipality has taken appropriate measures to prevent theft of all vulnerable sculptures.

Artwork Data




Peter van der Meer


1985 en 2011



Artwork Location


Appelstraat, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.066337703253, 4.2531478166717 View on map

Artwork Description


Effortlessly he keeps three balls in the air at once. This cheerful clown is not only in for a joke, he can juggle as well. Sculptor Peter van der Meer is the creator of this sculpture. Characteristic is the rather rough surface of the sculpture and the dynamic pose of the figure itself. The theme is also typical of Van der Meer: light-hearted everyday and cheerful scenes such as "Girl on Skippyball," or "Mother and Child.

Like Van der Meer's sculpture "Mother and Child," this clown was probably made under the so-called Visual Artists Regulation (BKR). In exchange for work or services, artists received financial support from the government. This scheme was in effect from 1956 to 1987. Sculptors could deliver a sculpture once a year through the BKR. In The Hague, such sculptures were regularly given a place in public spaces. In the 1980s the sculpture was placed on the Zwaardvegersgaarde. In 2011 it moved to the Appelstraat where it was given a new place on the grass opposite the stores.

The rough surface betrays the way Van der Meer made his sculptures. He built them from slabs of clay or wax. He then had the result cast in bronze. Van der Meer received his training at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. There his teachers included Dirk Bus. He then went to Italy to study marble working at the art academy of the famous marble city of Carrara. Despite this training in marble working, we know this sculptor mainly for his bronze sculptures for public spaces.