Monday 27 March 2023

Amsterdam gives away pieces of its architectural heritage


Amsterdam city council is giving away a collection of hundreds of ornamental building parts, on the condition the new owners use them to bring back some of the glory of the old city, the council announced on its website.

The ornaments, which include bunches of grapes, chiselled dates and sayings, and gables with flowers and leaves, were salvaged when the original medieval and 17th century buildings were demolished to make way for new housing and public transport infrastructure over the past decades.

Potential new owners are welcome to pick up the ornaments, which are kept at a secret location, but only if they use them ‘for the good of the city’. That means incorporating them in an existing gable or using them in newly-built homes.

Artists are also invited to find good spots for them in public spaces.

The ornament have been categorised according to value, size and state of preservation but all are absolutely free.

However, the council said, potential owners must prove they will be ‘a good building fragment parent’ by telling the council what they plan to do with the piece and if they will be respectful of its historical value.

They will also be responsible for the transportation costs. ‘Transporting them on the back of a bike is not the best of ideas,’ the council said.

Potential fragment parents can look at the fragments and register their application here and have until the end of the year to do so.

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