Artwork Data


Monument van de menselijke vergissing


Marijke de Goey





Artwork Location


Schenkkade, Den Haag

City district

Haagse Hout

GPS data

52.080062419187, 4.3421314180687 View on map

Artwork Description


Hardly ever do you see a bird in the sky changing its mind, turning back.

This line of poetry by Judith Hertzberg from her collection 'Dagrest' (1984) can be found on the granite pedestal of the 'Monument to Human Error'. The line of poetry can be experienced as a poetic translation of what went wrong in Bezuidenhout on 3 March 1945. In the last year of the war, the German occupying forces tried to keep the Allied troops at bay with V2 rockets, the ultimate retaliatory weapon. They were fired at London, among other places, from various launching sites spread across The Hague. The inhabitants of the city served as a human shield.

Of course the Allies tried to disable the launching sites. On 3 March 1945, the pilots accidentally dropped their bombs not on the rocket bases in the Haagse Bos, but on the Bezuidenhout. More than 500 people were killed and thousands made homeless. Because local residents felt the need for a monument to commemorate this bombardment, in 1989 the government commissioned artist Marijke de Goey to create a work of art for the then-new Ministry of Social Affairs on the Schenkkade.

Even though it is totally abstract, you can still find the idea of the swinging bombs and birds in the drawing of steel blue tubes. Most of them are pointing upwards. One, however, shoots in a different direction and yet another makes a huge loop. The sculpture is characteristic of the oeuvre of De Goey, who made a name for himself as a sculptor, environmental artist and jewellery designer. Whether De Goey creates something on a small or monumental scale, her lines are always clear and tangible.