Opinion: Short-sighted

POSTED: 08/21/11 3:36 PM

A court in Zutphen has come to a remarkable decision: the Suzuki that was used during the failed attempt on Queen Beatrix during the Queen’s birthday celebration in Apeldoorn in 2009 has to be destroyed. The black car is currently stored in a crate at the Police Museum in Apeldoorn.
The museum’s director, Taco Pauka, said yesterday that this is according to him the first time that a court has ordered the destruction of an object stored at the museum.
The court considered that seven people died during the attack and that the incident has had a huge impact, not only on the victims’ families but also on the society. Therefore, the court ruled, “the uncontrolled possessions of the car” violates the general interest.
The family of the man who drove the car into the birthday-revelers had objected to the fact that the police had confiscated the car, and the court has now ruled that the survivors of the attack have to be protected against additional suffering.
Are we the only ones who find this court ruling bordering on ridiculous? We’d say that the car has become an object of historical significance and that it should therefore be preserved for future generations.
Compare this with the John F. Kennedy murder in 1963. On November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Did the Americans blow up the building to eradicate the painful memories of the assassination? Not at all. They turned the sixth floor into an impressive museum.
We are not campaigning for the creation of a cult-exhibition with the black Suzuki as the main attraction. The car could simply remain in storage for, say, the next ten or fifteen years. Time heals all wounds, and it seems rather shortsighted to order the destruction of a car that played such havoc on so many people, and so close to the royal family.

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