Xavier Robles De Medina
Removal of the statue of Queen Wilhelmina

A statue of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands stands in front of Fort Zeelandia; in 1974, she was moved away where she used to stand in front of the Governor’s Palace (now the Presidential Palace), and was replaced with a sculpture of Jopie Pengel by Stuart Robles de Medina. In the archive of the Surinaams Museum exists a photograph of Stuart and a colleague guiding the rope-bound sculpture of Queen Wilhelmina down into her present resting place. The Queen and Fort Zeelandia mark the land– here lies the brutal failure of empire. Violent structures we deem to be permanent are often rotting and fragile inside, and they can be easily torn down, moved away from the center, if we mobilize and tend to our fiery love.

Removal of the statue of Queen Wilhelmina (Gerard van Lom) from Independence Square, Paramaribo, Suriname. 1975. right: visual artist Stuart Robles de Medina. (source: Stichting Surinaams Museum, archive nr: 20–162), 2019–2020, graphite on paper, 37 × 34 cm (incl. border)