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This City's Wall Building is Filled with Poems and Equations

Recent History | December 10, 2017

Scattered throughout the city of Leiden, in The Netherlands, are more than 100 poems artfully hand-painted on the exterior walls of buildings. These include the works of Rimbaud, Shakespeare, W. B. Yeats, Marina Tsvetaeva, Dylan Thomas, Derek Walcott as well as local writers. Most of the poems and equations are in Dutch and English. A couple of them are in Turkish, Moroccan, Chinese, Surinam, and other languages.

The Wall Poems project started in 1992. It was funded by the Tegen-Beeld foundation of Ben Walenkamp and Jan-Willem Bruins and several corporations and the city of Leiden. The first poem was from the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. The project officially concluded in 2005 with the Spanish poem De profundis by Federico Garcia Lorca, but new poems continued to be added as recently as 2010.

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