Set the clock for peace with Erasmus

400 years Erasmus statue in Rotterdam

Come to the Grotekerkplein in Rotterdam on Saturday 30 April and set the clock for peace with Erasmus. That day, the statue of the famous thinker from Rotterdam has been on its pedestal for exactly 400 years. The story goes that Erasmus turns a page of his book every day on the twelfth stroke of twelve o’clock. Today, Rotterdammers and students of Erasmus University Rotterdam are invited to bring their favorite book and turn a page together with Erasmus as an ode to peace.

The bronze statue of Erasmus (born 1466 in Rotterdam – died 1536 in Basel) was made by Hendrick de Keyser and unveiled on April 30, 1622. It replaced previous wooden and stone statues of the humanist scholar. It is special because this is the first free-standing statue in the Netherlands and the first statue in Europe not erected for a royal or military person. It has been at its present location since 1963.

Exactly 500 years ago, in 1522, Erasmus wrote about ‘War and Peace’ in his series ‘Conversations’ (Colloquia). He stated that he was above all a pacifist, but that he understood that a country must defend itself when invaded by a power-hungry enemy. Unfortunately, five centuries later, this message is fully topical. The Erasmus Committee, Icon of Rotterdam, therefore places the commemoration of 400 years of Erasmus statue in the context of peace and the condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In addition, the Committee wishes to reflect on the fate of all victims and refugees of recent conflicts in the world. The Committee invites all Rotterdammers and students to participate in the commemoration.

Program Saturday 30 April
Celebration 400 years Erasmus statue with an ode to peace

11.30 am Rotterdammers and students gather with their favorite book at the Erasmus statue at the Grotekerkplein in front of the Laurenskerk

11.45 am Welcome and commemorative word for 400 years Erasmus statue by the Committee Erasmus, Icon of Rotterdam

12.00 pm All present turn their pages together with Erasmus on the twelfth stroke of the clock

12.00 pm The carillon of the Laurenskerk plays a compilation of Ukrainian folk songs and popular music

Committee Erasmus, Icon of Rotterdam
The Committee Erasmus, Icon of Rotterdam, is committed to the place of Erasmus and his ideas in the image of Rotterdam. The Committee consists of: Rotterdam Library, Erasmiaans Gymnasium, Erasmus House Foundation, Erasmus MC, Erasmus University Rotterdam, De Heuvel Building, Roterodamum Historical Society, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Erasmus House, Laurenskerk Rotterdam, Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam Partners, Rotterdam City Archives . For more information, see:

/ / / For journalists: For more information, please contact Fred Balvert, tel. 06 – 41431721.