The Amsterdam Homomonument

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Homomonument | Remote Whiteboard | 14221

In the centre of Amsterdam is the Homomonument, which commemorates all gay men and lesbians who have been subjected to persecution because of their homosexuality. The monument, which was designed by Karin Daan, was opened on September 5, 1987 and takes the form of three large pink granite triangles in the ground forming a larger triangle. It is on the bank of the Keizersgracht canal, near the historic Westerkerk church.

As well as the triangle on the canal, which has a set of steps leading to the water where floral wreaths are frequently laid, there is a triangle on land 60 cm high and a memorial triangle at street level. The three triangles—each measuring 10 meters (30 ft) on each side—together form a larger triangle connected on each side by a thin row of pink granite bricks. This larger triangle measures 36 meters on each side.

One of the points of the triangle points towards the National War Memorial on Dam Square. Another points towards the house of Anne Frank, while the third points towards the headquarters of COC Nederland, the Dutch gay rights organisation.

Designed to “inspire and support lesbians and gays in their struggle against denial, oppression and discrimination” the Homomonument was the first monument in the world to commemorate gays and lesbians who were killed by the Nazis.

The text on the monument “To Such A Friendship Indulgence Desire ‘is a verse of the gay, Jewish writer Jacob Israel de Haan who was born in 1881 and died in 1924.

The success of the Homomonument has encouraged further monuments to be erected elsewhere. They are:

Frankfurt, 1994
Cologne, 1995
Sydney, 2001
San Francisco, 2003
Montevideo, 2005
Sitges, 2006
Berlin, 2008
Barcelona, 2011.


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