Lood en bladgoud
George Maduroplein, Den Haag
52.098892036729, 4.2999996693115 View on map
Of course, George Maduro (1916-1945) is the namesake of the famous miniature city Madurodam. But that he is also a resistance hero from the Second World War is something that far fewer people know. As the son of a banker's family from Curaçao, he came to Leiden to study law. At the outbreak of war, he fought as a soldier in the Dutch army. Afterwards he joined the resistance. Finally, in 1944, he was arrested. He died of typhus in the Dachau concentration camp just before the liberation.
Even less well known is that the amusement park Madurodam, which was founded in his memory in 1952, is the financial driving force behind an important charity. To commemorate the 100th birthday of their namesake, the Madurodam board decided to create a monument and an educational project.
In cooperation with the art centre Stroom Den Haag, Madurodam invited sculptor Jikke van Loon to make a design. She is well-known in the Netherlands as a maker of monuments such as for Anton de Kom in Amsterdam. Van Loon came up with a work of art in two parts. The first part, a sculpture of Maduro at the age of 10, was unveiled in 2016. Part two, a sculpture of the adult hero, was unveiled a year later by Princess Beatrix. Both sculptures stand at some distance from each other on George Maduro Square, in front of the entrance to Madurodam. They encourage you to think about when you actually become a hero: as a child, or do you have to perform a heroic deed for it?
By linking a special ceremony to the monument, it continues to play an active role. Every year, a number of schoolchildren will be allowed to chisel their name into the lead of the statue, which will then be inlaid with gold leaf. Thus, the statue will gradually change from lead to gold. In this way, we actively commemorate Maduro and he becomes a shining example for future generations.