The Netherlands change to a new vehicle registration card, plastic instead of paper. The first card was issued for the Toyota 200GT in the collection of the Louwman Museum in Den Haag. That way it became part of the collection right away and can be considered cultural heritage. A fine example of contemporary collecting.
The Toyota 200GT is a remarkable car, only 337 were manufactured and it can be considered a turning point in the self esteem of the Japanese automotive industry. The Toyota 220GT featured in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice which is an interesting anecdotal fact in this case. The Louwman Toyota 200GT was taken out of the world of motoring by turning it into a museum object. Now the Louwman Toyota is licensed to be driven again on the public road. Heritage as the second life of objects. Museum objects getting a second life in real life. Very much to the point, especially considering that Mr. Louwman made his fortune by importing Toyota’s.
Bitcoins, a virtual currency, are booming business. Invented in 2009, they are now a hype, spurred by the uncertainties of the banking crisis. Read Kevin Roose in the New York Magazine about his acquisition of a bitcoin. Interestingly enough the British Museum collected a ‘coined’ version of the bitcoin, made by Mike Caldwell. Doe the BM have a real bitcoin in the collection? Or is that to difficult to collect and keep?
Banksy is probably the most famous graffiti artist and a very daring, provocative and creative opinionator. In the Netherlands graffiti is nominated for listing as intangible heritage, the city of Eindhoven campaigning to be the Dutch capital of graffiti. However, graffiti can be just as material as any fine art, as is demonstrated by the online auction of a Banksy mural in Miami, estimated at a 450.000 pounds. The piece came from Wood Green in London and was ‘robbed’ by an anonymous collector, much to the grief of the neighbourhood. “We want our Banksy back”, says councillor Alan Strickland, “the community feels that this art was given to us, for free, now it’s been taken away to be sold for huge profit.” Graffiti as art, owned by the community, cherished and appreciated. And sought after by international collectors. Is this the corrupting force of collecting?
(Source: Daily Mail)
WOII camp Amersfoort, in use by the Nazi’s from 1941 - 1945 as a ‘Durchgangslager’ presents an exhibition of archeological finds. The camp has been demolished (almost) completely after 1945, so archeological finds are the only remaining authentic objects from this dark period, in which more than 35.000 persons have been transported to concentration camps. Camp Amersfoort features in the work of the Dutch painter and poet Armando, who coined the name ‘guilty landscape’ for places that ‘accomodated’ crimes against humanity.
At the occasion of the exhibition the management of Camp Amersfoort issued 50 memory boards with a piece of barbed wire mounted on it. The barbed wire was one of the archeological finds in the recent excavations. Every board was to be sold for 10 euro to support the conservation of the collection. However, numerous protests on the day of release have made the management withdraw the memory boards for general sale. Now they can only be bought on special request.
The management of Camp Amersfoort is puzzled by the reaction of the public. “I don’t understand it”, says the director, “earlier pieces of wood from the baracks of camp Vught have been sold, just as pieces from the Berlin Wall. We did not expect it to be so touchy.”