Mosaic artwork discovered while clearing out Maastricht factory
Workers clearing out an old factory in Maastricht found a tile tableau by artist Charles Eyck. Former mayor Gerd Leers, in charge of clearing out the factory for the new owner, recovered most of the tiling, covering about nine square meters. "It was so beautiful; I thought this couldn't just be anything," he said to 1Limburg.
While cleaning up, Leers spotted several tiles with colorful motifs on one of the walls. Workers were taking the tiles to a waste container in wheelbarrows. "Here they were, piled up in a corner. And those workmen were busy throwing them into a container," Leers said to 1Limburg. "I thought it would ne a shame to throw them away. They matched so well; the colors were so authentic, also the motifs on them."
With Huub Brandts, collector of Maastricht pottery, he collected the tiles scattered throughout the building and numbered the stones. They pieced together the work of art and called in an expert, who identified the mosaic as made by Charles Eyck (1897-1983). The work hung in another factory, which closed in 1984. When that factory was demolished in 2011, a ceramist decided to secure the mosaic in the factory where he worked, it turns out.
All the stones found were taken to a shop in the city center of Maastricht, where artist Chrit Rousseau is piecing the work together and restoring it. "The large tiles, they are all already in place, but with the small pieces, we are now putting color together, well, and then it's just searching. So it really is a puzzle," Rousseau said to the broadcaster. According to him, the work is unmistakably by Eyck. The mosaic shows a sailing boat, the sun, the sea, and a cactus - clear influences from the time Eyck stayed in Curacao in 1952.
Some pieces are still missing, Leers said. "We are still looking for Eyck's signature. He always signed his works. Unfortunately, that is still in all those small pieces, exactly in that bottom edge. And it partly disappeared when it was chopped off in the factory. We hope we can still find those pieces."