Burgemeester Opening meet & greet DUJAT
Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen
Centraal Museum/Nijntje Museum, 3 april 2019
Inomata-san, Mr. Ambassador, members of DUJAT, director Bart Rutten, director Christa De Kemp, dear all,
First of all: I am truly grateful and honoured to have been invited to address you briefly during this meet and greet. Tonight, I will be leaving for a business trip to South-America, on behalf of my country.
But before getting to the airport, I surely wanted to meet you, dear members of DUJAT, and to welcome you to the City of Utrecht. Our beautiful city in the heart of the Netherlands. And, sadly, also a city that was recently all over the news…the terrible shooting incident on March the 18th that struck our city in the heart. Four people were killed. People were injured. People witnessed the shooting. People in and outside Utrecht have been greatly affected by this incident. The thousands of people mourning, the flowers, the silent march: these images are engraved in our memories.
And: there is another image we never will forget. It was a drawing of Miffy, standing next to the half-mast Utrecht flag. And Miffy was crying. Our beloved Miffy, child of Utrecht, was shocked and sad, just like all of us. The tear on Miffy’s cheek became the symbol for the grief of everyone affected by the terrible shooting. This puts today’s meet and greet, in the Miffy Museum, in a slightly different perspective… Of course, this meet and greet was planned a long time ago. We all knew that we would meet in the Central Museum, a proud member of DUJAT and hosting this venue today. And you probably were looking forward to meet Miffy. You would visit the Miffy Store and the studio of Dick Bruna, the spiritual father of Miffy. Maybe you already did... And if so: you surely experienced the magic of this true Dutch icon, with many fans and friends all over the world. Especially in Japan… And if you didn’t meet Miffy, you will surely notice that Miffy is just like us.
She can be happy. She is fond of cycling. I am sure Miffy is looking forward to the Spanish Vuelta cycling race in 2020, just like I do… And we all saw that Miffy sometimes can be sad. Just like us… And by being sad with us, she knows how to comfort us. She encourages us to resume our daily routines. To look forward again. To dream again. To cherish and celebrate life. Miffy truly is our beloved icon…
Inomata-san, Mr. Ambassador, members of DUJAT, dear all,
There is no better way to celebrate life than to meet and greet. Being together. Strengthen old bonds and meeting new friends. And to celebrate existing and brand-new friendships by having a drink together. It’s time for the kampai, don’t you agree? Wish you all a pleasant time here in Utrecht and a safe trip back home. Arigato gozaimasu.