American website mocked for calling Rotterdam Central Station the largest in Amsterdam
Several Dutch news outlets have derided American website 21Ninety for referring to Rotterdam Central Station as the “largest train station in Amsterdam.” The reference was made in an article about Moments Contained, a nearly four-meter tall statue of a Black woman installed outside of the second largest city's main train station. The website referred to it as a “must-see piece of art in the Netherlands’ capital of Amsterdam.”
Daar staat ze! Het bijna 4 meter hoge bronzen beeld van kunstenaar Thomas J Price, getiteld Moments Contained, is vanmiddag onthuld op het Stationsplein. Stichting Droom en Daad schenkt het kunstwerk aan de stad Rotterdam.— Gemeente Rotterdam (@rotterdam) June 2, 2023
Meer info over het beeld: https://t.co/7ixLwxrgGa pic.twitter.com/IHATeucPW5
Dutch website Manners joked that the mistake was another in a series of attempts by Amsterdam political leaders trying to prevent over-tourism in the capital, after Amsterdam produced a campaign telling British men to stay away from the city, and banned smoking cannabis in the Red Light District. “Not a bad tactic. If dystopian commercials and a smoking ban do not work, you can just let tourists think that Rotterdam is in Amsterdam. Then they will definitely stay away,” Manners wrote.
An erroneous version of the article uploaded to Yahoo News was still online on Wednesday evening. Comments under the article include, “Congratulations for reinforcing stereotypes about Americans! Greetings from Sweden, the capital of Copenhagen.”
Another commenter, Jelle, wrote, “I’ve always wanted to visit Philadelphia 30th Street Station, the largest train station in New York City.”
Another stated, “Nice article I recently visited the Golden Gate Bridge in Sacramento, CA”
The original article was published on Monday, and was corrected on 21Ninety either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. However, the mistakes remained in the Yahoo News version long enough for the Telegraaf to write about it. Both Amsterdam broadcaster AT5 and Rotterdam broadcaster Rijnmond also published articles about it on their websites.
The website wrote positively about the statue in general. The statue was acquired by philanthropic organization Droom en Daad, which then donated it to stand at the Rotterdam station, where it has been for about a month. While art critics have written positively about the statue, it has received mixed reviews from Rotterdammers.
"It’s nice to see something other than a white man in a suit," said Maada, a 13-year-old in the city, when speaking to the Guardian. "I’ve never seen a bronze woman with normal clothes. It’s nice to recognise something and it’s good to put it in this place where everyone can see it."
"She stands there self-confident, tough, hands in pockets. The knuckles of her fingers are visible through the bulge in the fabric. Combatable," wrote Henk Schaaf in a letter to NRC.
He and several others were frustrated by a piece about the statue written by the newspaper's science columnist, Rosanne Herzberger. She said the statue was "boring," and too mundane, being focused on an ordinary person wearing a Nike and sweatpants. "This work is a product of a social current in which it is enough to be a marginalized party to gain sympathy. Just being a woman, having a disability, wearing a headscarf, a dark skin color or preferably a combination of these is enough to be raised on the shield, and especially in the cultural sector," she wrote.
The statue was unveiled in front of the Rotterdam station by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. It is the third largest train station in the country, according to data provided by Dutch national railway NS. The largest train station in the Netherlands is Utrecht Central Station. Nearly 189,000 passengers depart, arrive, or transfer via the station daily. Amsterdam Central Station hosts 151,000 passengers daily, followed by Rotterdam’s main station, with nearly 89,000 people passing through per day.