Marius van Beek
The preservation of the ‘Goal of Santiago de Chile’

Sculptor Marius van Beek (1921-2003) made the sculpture group the ‘Goal of Santiago de Chile’ in 1974. It consists of a goal with wooden uprights and iron netting. From the crossbar hang three hanged persons made from brown and black wax, chicken wire and canvas. In front of the goal is the goalkeeper, made from polyester; he is an executioner with a cap on his head.

When Marius van Beek made this sculpture, he intended exhibiting it in Munich during the World Cup. That plan fell through. ‘The Goal of Santiago de Chile’ was subsequently exhibited at numerous Chile demonstrations in the Netherlands and in the lower hall of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. These exhibitions were accompanied by the songs of the Chilean protest singer Victor Jara.

The sculpture group was then given a position in the sculpture garden of the sculptor’s studio. The goalkeeper was given a place in front of the studio and the hung persons disappeared into the shed. They could be seen one more time at a retrospective exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum in Arnhem in 1991, where the shed was reconstructed and the sculptures could be viewed through a window.

After Marius van Beek died in September 2003, Jan Teeuwisse — director of Beelden aan Zee Museum — came to Marius’ studio to examine his sculptures for a possible exhibition in the museum. When Jan Teeuwisse had seen all the sculptures in the studio, he was taken to the shed where the sight of the hanged persons moved him so much that he decided that this was the sculpture group he wanted displayed in the museum. He believed that this sculpture group, this monument brought together all the disciplines and aspects of the professional practice of Marius van Beek: the creation (as sculptor), the current affairs (as journalist and critic) and the protest (as resistance fighter).

However, the sculpture group could not be exhibited in its original form on a patio of Beelden aan Zee museum. The wax hanged persons would melt and the goalkeeper was too damaged and too light to survive a storm. The group had to be restored and preserved and cast in its entirety in bronze. With the united forces of the Marius van Beek Foundation and thanks to the financial support from the Doen Foundation and Mondriaan Foundation, it was possible to achieve this in three years. The sculpture group in its preserved form is not exactly the same any more; the iron netting of the goal was no longer intact and the decision was made to leave it out. The existential quality of the sculpture group formed the basis of the work. Maarten Koreman, sculptor and Marius’ assistant, followed the bronze casting process very carefully and applied the necessary changes. It has now become a real monument to Chile.