Mans Kapbaarg Mosaic in Almelo

Mans Kapbaarg Mosaic Tunnel in Almelo, The Netherlands

Do you like Mosaic art?

I do, I´ve always love seeing mosaic artwork. The art itself is a picture of hardwork, imagination and oftentimes, delivers a delightful story. In a mosaic art, every piece is important. Just like a puzzle, the moment it blends and connect to other pieces, only then the artwork itself becomes known and have it´s own identity. But mosaic is pure hardwork.I often work using the mosaic technique in my paintings. Whether it is geometric patterns or repetitive shapes, synchronized harmony is the key.I suddenly remembered Lidia, a great Kuwaiti artist whom I´ve got to know when I was living in Kuwait. She and her House of Mirror tells a wonderful story of artistic journey, creativity and hardwork…and that is a great mosaic art made of broken glass.She had to renovate her whole house pestered with termites and used broken glass and tuned it into a Mirror house!

Few weeks ago, I was in Almelo in the Netherlands visiting my in-laws.We frequented the old town and had a stroll looking for Kreentenwegge, a delicious pastry that I ´ve got addicted during our stay. It was so delicious that I ended up buying more to take home in Germany. Anyway while looking, we came across this Tunnel in the Wierdensestraat near the city center in Almelo.

And yes, there´s no way my eye could have missed it—the Mans Kapbaarg Mosaik! , a 500 meter long tunnel full of mosaic artwork!Compared to the Comic strip we´ve seen in Brussels, this one is rather unique.Here are some of the photos I´ve made using my iPhone.

Man in a Tractor

Notice that it uses not only broken pieces of ceramic tiles but also real junk pieces like these wheels!

I did some research and found out more about the Title. Mans Kapbaarg served in Napoleon´s army.He took also many campaigns including the Battle of Waterloo.Before, this tunnel was full of nasty graffiti and the local municipality thought of an idea to do something about it.They´ve started the art project using the story of Mans Kapbaarg and initiated by Ineke Pezie, a teacher of the former DeVa Vocational school along with dozens of students , they began working on the project from 1993 to 2001.

In some mosaic panels I can see some details of the Dutch Gable houses

Unfortunately, some materials used were not weather resistant and soon it weathered away and broken.

After the long period of restoration, last 2014, it was finally reopened again to the public .

The mosaic is an initiative of the Stichting Stadsherstel Almelo and was carried out by students from the ROC East Netherlands under the guidance of teacher Ineke Pezie. It took them nine years to complete the mosaic, which consists of many works of art in itself.

The mosaic on the walls of the tunnel in Wierdensestraat has been nominated for the Outdoor Art Award, which will be held this summer.

Mans Kapbaarg was a young man from Twente who had all kinds of adventures with a number of comrades. He is called the biggest ‘liar bug‘ in Twente and his creator is G.B.Vloedbeld.I had the impression that he is a drunkard who frequented the pubs and become a big story teller. Well, drinking involves talking so no wonder his stories became famous.

In the tunnel it is depicted as a comic strip. He had to join Napoleon’s army and marched with his army to Spain, which can be seen on the south side of the tunnel.On the other side of the tunnel shows his journey to Russia.

A friend of my husband took a great photo of this tunnel and you can have a view of it here.This tunnel is frequented by cyclists but pedestrians are also allowed to walk in here.

It´s good thing that the local municipality decided to do the restoration of the broken panels. It would be a shame if they´ve left it unmaintained and the whole artwork go to waste.

Until then, Tschüss!

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