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How real is the Amsterdam inner city?

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The Amsterdam inner city contains many old buildings that are not really old. These national monuments are partly or entirely ‘ fake ‘ because they are completely restored, rebuilt or reconstructed too drastic.

This is the result of the paper Het Parool who went with experts along the Amsterdam canal houses. These experts know that dozens of Amsterdam buildings strictly speaking according to the national cultural heritage (RCE)  should be removed of the monuments list a long time ago.

The service uses today much stricter standards than the sixties and seventies, when these buildings became a monument. In the post-war years all involved were so glad that theold buildings in the Centre of Amsterdam were restored, there was less attention for the way it was done.

New rebuilt

Many houses were rebuilt brand new. In some national monuments is no percent old material left, because they were copied exactly as they were earlier. And they stayed being a national monument. Other buildings were not ‘ new rebuilt ‘ to the look as they were, the nineteenth century but in the style of the 17th century. Gerrit Vermeer restoration person, art historian and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), says that with some restorations of national monuments there are entire floors were extra built to cover the costs of the renovation. A good example is the residential house on the brouwersgracht 52. It is also for laymen evident that the monument is no longer the original building. Another cause was sometimes the restoration architect had insufficient documented evidence. So there are partly fabricated properties on the list of national monuments. An example is Herengracht 361, a canal house that most recently had a roof, but then was “new rebuilt” to a seventeenth century building. That would be according to current standards out of the question.

Controversial buildings

The RCE is currently working on the clean up of the ‘ monuments ‘ list. Experts fear that the RCE discussion around the Amsterdam landmarks will be an opportunity to get some of the list. They hesitate therefore to designate the controversial buildings. The pioneers of the Amsterdam restoration were Ruud Meischke, the first Director of the Office of monuments, Henk Zantkuijl, his later successor and Geurt Brinkgreve, founder of the Association Friends of the Centre of Amsterdam.

According to Theo Rouwhorst, the man from the drawing room of the Office of monuments that carried out some of the controversial restorations, it would be beter if monuments and other old buildings in the city should be better documented and justified. He comes at the end of this year with a book about this.

Photo credit: Doerky / Foter / CC BY-ND

About Frank Scheers

Mijn geboortestad Amsterdam is een prachtig uitgangspunt voor journalistiek. Amsterdam staat voor vrijheid van meningsuiting en tolerantie. Als journalist wil ik mij vrij en zonder beperkingen kunnen uiten over hetgeen zich in Amsterdam afspeelt, maar ook in de rest van de wereld. Ik schrijf zoveel mogelijk mijn eigen content, maar scan ook de rest van de wereld af naar opvallend nieuws. Dit nieuws hoeft niet altijd breaking news te zijn. Dit kan heel interessant nieuws zijn dat even belangrijk is als breaking news, maar iets minder bekend is, maar net zo belangrijk kan zijn voor de opinievorming. Naast nieuws uit Amsterdam en wereldnieuws richt ik mij ook op fraaie artikelen over politiek, mode, luxe artikelen, gezondheid, het milieu, entertainment, life style, business, onderwijs, shopping, gastronomie, reizen et cetera. Amsterdam Today is een actief online news magazine en wij brengen artikelen in het Nederlands en in het Engels. Belangrijk om te noemen is dat Amsterdam Today zich bezig houdt met Immersive Journalism. Dat wil zeggen dat wij fascinerend nieuws brengen in combinatie met virtual reality technieken. Je ervaart dan het nieuws alsof je er zelf bij bent. My hometown Amsterdam is a wonderful starting point for journalism. Amsterdam stands for freedom of speech and tolerance. As a journalist, I can express freely and without restrictions on what is happening in Amsterdam, but also in the rest of the world. I write my own content as much as possible, but also scan the rest of the globe for striking news. This news doesn't always have to be breaking news. This can be very interesting news that is as important as breaking news, but slightly less known and just as important to the way people form their opinions. In addition to news from Amsterdam and the world news I also write about articles on politics, fashion, luxury, health, environment, entertainment, life style, business, education, shopping, wining and dining, travel and so on. Amsterdam Today is an active online news magazine and we bring articles in Dutch and in English. Important to mention is that Amsterdam Today deals with Immersive Journalism. That means that we bring fascinating news in combination with virtual reality techniques. You will experience the news as if you were there. Contact: Website | More Posts

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