A remarkable piece of art at Lange Voorhout symbolises the Dutch democracy. The marble statue represents Thorbecke from the 19th century. The man behind the Dutch constitution. He is seated at his desk, looking out onto the quarters of the Prime Minister from Voorhout. The second part of the statue, made of reflective metal, represents three citizens sitting at and on top of a table. Both parts touch and are connected via two open doors.
Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (1798-1872) spent an important part of his life living in The Hague, at Voorhout. This is where Thorbecke designed the Dutch constitution in 1848. To this day, that constitution still makes up the foundation of our constitutional state. Thorbecke would be in charge of three cabinets and meet his end in 1872 in The Hague.
Artist Thom Puckey says about the modern version: “One of the essences of democracy is that you try to persuade each other with arguments, in fierce discussions if necessary. Having the woman seated on top of the table is my way of showing how her place in society has become equal.”