News of: Wednesday, August 31 2005,

Oosterpark in Amsterdam East gets cactus for Van Gogh

Local authorities in Amsterdam-East have decided that there will be a cactus statue in the Oosterpark, in commemoration of Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker who was assassinated in November last year.

There has been a lot of debate on whether and how the filmmaker would be commemorated. The local authorities have now decided it will be a work of art in the shape of a cactus.

The cactus refers to a series of interview programs Theo van Gogh made a number of years ago, called 'Een prettig gesprek' ('An enjoyable conversation'). They were very personal interviews, and the person interviewed would get a cactus as a present at the end of the interview. The guests were always asked then to kiss the cactus.

The Oosterpark was chosen as the assassination took place very close to the park.

There will be a artist contest for the design of the cactus. Ten designs will be shown on November 2. This is the day on which Van Gogh was killed last year.