Deceased mayor Eberhard van der Laan immortalized in Amsterdam-West

Eberhard van der Laan immortalized in Amsterdam-West neighborhood De Baarsjes
Eberhard van der Laan immortalized in Amsterdam-West neighborhood De Baarsjes. (Photo: Stadsdeel West/Twitter)

A permanent tribute to deceased Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan was unveiled in Amsterdam West on Monday afternoon. His widow Femke officially unveiled the mural on Mercatorplein in De Baarsjes, the neighborhood where Van der Laan lived for a long time, AD reports.

The mural consists of picture of Van der Laan, titled Damsko Strijder by artist collective Kamp Seedorf. Damsko means Amsterdam in local slang, and 'Strijder' or 'warrior' in English refers to the mayor's street fighting mentality, according to the makers. 

It also contains the words, translated from Dutch: "Take good care of our city and each other." With these words Van der Laan concluded the letter with which he announced that he was stepping down as mayor in September 2017. He died shortly thereafter, on October 5th, at age 62 of lung cancer. 

A local resident came up with the idea to immortalize Van der Laan in De Baarsjes, according to the newspaper. A design competition was launched. The Damsko Strijder received the most votes of the 59 entries.

The Damsko Strijder first appeared as graffiti art on a subway station entrance in Amsterdam Oost in February 2017, shortly after Van der Laan announced that he was terminally ill. When the artwork was accidentally removed, it led to outrage among local residents, according to AD. 

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