h. 160 cm
Hofzichtlaan, Den Haag
52.091493950341, 4.3654530401249 View on map
With one hand, a half-naked woman is holding on to one of the horns of the bull on which she is sitting. Her feet are floating in the air. Anxiously she looks over her shoulder as if she expects to be rescued from there. This scene in bronze can be found on the lawn in front of the Finnenburg flats in Mariahoeve. The Hague sculptor Dirk Bus based this scene on a story from classical antiquity about the Phoenician princess Europa. That is why the title of the sculpture is 'Europa'. The supreme god Zeus - Jupiter to the Romans - had fallen in love with her. To be with her, he had transformed himself into a white bull. Once he had climbed onto the bull, the princess was put to the test. The bull fled with her into the sea and swam to Crete.
It is not surprising that this statue has been placed in this very spot. The streets in this part of Mariahoeve bear names of European countries, such as Hungarenburg, Finnenburg and Vlamenburg. In addition, the dynamic statue forms a nice contrast with the tightly-ordered surroundings and the functional flats that were built here in the 1960s.
Although you can walk around the sculpture, it has more the character of a relief than a three-dimensional image. There is significantly more to see at the front than at the back. It seems that Bus knew when he made it that the sculpture would be placed in front of an apartment wall. Incidentally, 'Europe' is not the only sculpture by Bus in The Hague. He was a much sought-after sculptor and made both freestanding sculptures and architecture-related sculptures for the Hague.