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Stadhoudersplantsoen, Den Haag
52.086911097165, 4.2790780638931 View on map
Three children playing in the water, their mother watching from the shore. This image inspires confidence, and that is precisely what the commissioner of this sculpture group was after. In the mid-1950s, the insurance company De Eerste Nederlandsche in The Hague, the forerunner of Ennia and later Aegon, moved into its new headquarters on Churchillplein. In front of the main entrance there was a majestic pond. The bronze sculpture group that sculptor Lidi Buma - van Mourik Broekman commissioned from the insurer was placed in the pond. The protective mother obviously represents the insurance company.
Each of the four figures looks lively and natural. In her sculptures, Buma - van Mourik Broekman builds on the naturalistic tradition. Their pose is as if she has frozen a moment from their play. Although this sculptor usually made sculptures and portraits of individual people, her lessons in architecture at Delft University of Technology and her assistantship with Albert Termote undoubtedly gave her a good insight into larger spatial works. This is clearly reflected in this sculpture group. Even though the mother and the group of children stand far apart, they tangibly form a whole.
After Aegon's departure, the building housed the Yugoslavia Tribunal and the sculpture group in the pond had to make way for a work by Auke de Vries. The Playing children and their mother were given a place on the side of the building. Behind a security fence. In this cramped, awkward location, they did not come into their own. In 2010, this changed. The owner Aegon donated the sculpture group to the municipality of The Hague, which sought a suitable new location for it. That became the pond in the Stadhoudersplantsoen near the Valeriusstraat. There the children play their game in the water again. Their mother stands on the shore, as always, watching.