The Waalpaintings project, set up by historians from the Radboud Institute for Culture and History (RICH), makes Nijmegen's urban history visible through street art in the city centre, created by artists from the region at locations that have a direct connection to the historical stories shown. Earlier this month, a Waalpainting about the history of Radboud University was also unveiled. Information about all Waalpaintings can be found on www.waalpaintings.nl
Location of the Lindenberg
The painting about Operation Market Garden was to be on the Lindenberg. During Market Garden, Nijmegen's city centre was ablaze, and the spot where the Cultuurhuis can now be found was in the centre of the fire. The Waal can be clearly seen from the Lindenburg. American troops crossed this river in boats on 20 September to take the road and rail bridges. The bullet holes in the railway monument facing the Lindenberg form the still visible traces of the fierce fighting that took place in the centre of Nijmegen during World War II.
For this mural, Waalpaintings commissioned Gerco Hiddink from Studio Hartebeest. Gerco previously created, together with Maaike van den Heuvel, the mural about Theophanu at the Holland Casino. His ability to combine clean graphics with the ability to depict a complex historical story led Waalpaintings to ask him to create this second mural.
Art at the Lindenberg
The Lindenberg is extremely proud to have this impressive work of art on its walls. Director Teddy Vrijmoet: "Cultural expressions are used all over the world to rouse against subjection and oppression. Street art is a beautiful way to catch people's eye and fuel these kinds of conversations. The theme of freedom versus unfreedom is high on our agenda. This Waalpainting will certainly fuel good conversations, reflection and thinking about how to express your vision, imagination or story through art and culture. "
Extensive research preceded this artwork in order to make the piece as realistic as possible. Besides the military operation, there is also plenty of room for the perspective of the Nijmegen people. Many of them kept a diary during Market Garden, and various scenes from these have been given a place in the mural.