Burgemeester Opening expositie Omnia Tagmount

Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Utrecht, Consulaat Marokko, 10 maart 2017

Dearest Omnia, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the heart of the Netherlands, the very heart of the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht.

I mention this, just to be sure that the three consul-generals from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and 's Hertogenbosch, who accompany the Ambassador, know where they are ...

I would like to welcome Omnia's parents. A few words in Dutch to them. Hartelijk welkom lieve ouders, wat zult u trots zijn op uw dochter. En terecht. Omnia's vader vertelde me net dat ie toen hij naar Nederland kwam een jaar in Utrecht heeft gewoond. Aan de Oudegracht... vlakbij het Stadhuis...

Thank you kindly for receiving us so cordially at the consulate. Believe it or not, but I spent a part of the afternoon doing voluntary work cutting apple trees at a petting zoo (at the Briljantlaan in Hoograven). Once a year, my aldermen and I participate in this initiative known as ‘NL Doet’.

In the process of doing such chores, I discovered that you have to cooperate to do the job well. One person sands, while the other paints, and yet another drags the stuff away. The art of cooperation is something you have to master. And this is clearly evident in the works of Omnia Tagmount exhibited here at the consulate-general.

Paintings by a young woman, who enjoys making pretty things together with children. And as Mayor of a city with so many young talents I naturally commend this.

As you perhaps know, it was International Women’s Day on Wednesday. A day on which we consciously reflect on solidarity with women worldwide. Our thoughts go out to women who adopt a firm stance in life, daring to express their passions. Women that become fully fledged as people who stand for the things they believe in, and who also radiate this. Women like… Omnia Tagmount, indeed.

It is a special treat to be able to view her works here in Utrecht. After all, they fully encapsulate the way in which she lends colour to her life together with others. I sincerely trust that many people will be inspired both by this exhibition and by Omnia’s enthusiasm. She is a symbol to Dutch society in general and the Dutch society with Moroccan heritage. Thank you very much.