Walk along the boulevard of the seaside resort Scheveningen and you will encounter the wonderfully whimsical outdoor sculpture garden, ‘Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea’.
The sculpture garden is part of the Museum Beelden aan Zee, which is dedicated to sculpture, and features 23 cartoon-like bronze figures by American sculptor Tom Otterness inspired by fairytales and sea stories.
Some of the fairy tales and stories represented are Gepetto and Pinocchio, Moby Dick, and Hans Brinker, the Dutch boy who saved his country by plugging his finger in a leaking dike.
Two sculptures that literally stand out are Gulliver’s Travel to Lilliput, which features Gulliver, with incredibly long legs, being chained to the ground by the tiny Lilliputians, and the 43-foot “The Herring Eater” that pays homage to Scheveningen as the center of the Dutch herring industry.
The “Crying Giant” is one of the most photographed “Fairytale Sculptures.” When I discovered that it is a modern tale about the giant (the US) crying after 9/11, it left an even bigger impression.
The exhibition, which had been on display since 2004 was removed in 2009 during a project to redesign Scheveningen Boulevard and returned in April 2012. Each sculpture has a QR scan explaining each fairy tale or legend and a folder with a map is also distributed by the Beelden aan Zee Museum.
Admission to the sculpture garden is free and it is open day and night.
Are you familiar with all of these fairytales? Which sculpture is your favorite?