Hollow Man: Monument Commemorating all Unknown Refugees

An Initiative of Fr Sjaak de Boer MHM

Roman Catholic Church of Our Saviour, The Hague.

On Sunday, 25 April, a statue will be unveiled in our church garden to commemorate all the unknown refugees who died during their flight at sea or in the desert. The Dutch international development organization, CORDAID, financed this project.

We see the forgotten victims on the news, but for many, a dead refugee means one less burden and lower costs, so it becomes difficult for governments to act upon what they see. The statue, sculpted by artist Linette Dijk, will be called “Hollow Man” because we see right through him as if he or she does not exist.

Our church garden is situated exactly mid-way between the new location of the Dutch Parliament and the Royal Palace. The “Hollow Man” will remind all the people who travel along that road that we should never walk alone- unseen, ignored and unblessed. Hopefully, in a few years from now, the “Hollow Man” will have touched so many travelers on the road that a national monument for refugees, like the one Pope Francis placed on Saint Peter’s Square, will be built to raise awareness and organize change.

View ‘Hollow Man’ sculptures

One Comment

  1. I am reminded of the message of hope offered by Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti No. 55. ‘Hope speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning….a longing for a life of fulfilment, a desire to achieve great things….truth, goodness and beauty, justice and love. Hope is bold: it can look beyond personal convenience, the petty securities and compensations which limit our horizon, and it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile’.
    Let this ‘hollow man’ remind us to be bearers of that hope, clearing the ‘dark clouds over a closed world’ with the ‘strangers we encounter on the road, sea or desert. GS

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