Friday sees the opening of a new cultural centre in Zundert, the village in the southern province of Noord-Brabant, where the artist Vincent van Gogh was born.
After years of discussion and a lengthy search for funds, the pastor’s house, which stands on the site of the painter’s birthplace, has now been converted into the Van Gogh House.
One of its rooms gives an impression of the living room where the painter was born.
Jochem ten Haaf, who played Vincent on the stage in London, has recorded an audio tape on which he plays Vincent talking about his life in Zundert. The painter was born there on March 30, 1853 and spent much of his youth in the village.
Van Gogh exhibition space
The rest of the house has been turned into exhibition space. The permanent collection features Van Gogh’s successors such as Leon Adriaans, Marlene Dumas and Reinoud van Vught.
There will also be a series of special exhibitions, the first devoted to the work of Ossip Zadkine who made several sculptures of Van Gogh as well as The Ruined City in Rotterdam.
Ron Dirven, director of the new centre, told news service ANP that even without the cultural centre around 10,000 tourists a year already find their way to Zundert.
They come to see the pastor’s house, the church where Van Gogh’s father preached and the Zadkine monument of the painter and his art dealer brother Theo. Dirven hopes the new centre will increase visitors to 15,000 a year.
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