Jan Pieterszoon Coen Statue in Hoorn
By Contested Histories Initiative •
Nicknamed the ‘Slaughterer of Banda,’ the figure of Jan Pieterszoon Coen has become increasingly contested in recent years. The statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen in Hoorn has been a disputed monument since its unveiling in 1893. The statue has been smeared with red paint and graffiti numerous times in the last six decades. In 2010 a citizens’ initiative expressed critiques regarding the statue of Coen, and in response, a contextualising plaque was added in 2012. Nevertheless, the debate over the monument has not abated. During the 2020 George Floyd protests, the statue rose to a focal point of discussion in the Netherlands. Critics continue to call for the statue’s removal, but local authorities and museums are reluctant to take a moral position in the debate.