Menthol and Roosje

Hengelo (O), 2017

Sculpture, in memory of the first colored man in Hengelo, Joseph Sylvester alias “Menthol”, who was married to an original resident of Hengelo, Marie Borchert alias “Roosje”.

According to Lanters, the artwork fits very well with the strong story of Menthol and Roosje. “If Menthol saw someone staring or pointing at him, he crossed the street and asked what was going on”.  The two had a firm position in the community. This wasn’t always positive, because there was a lot of gossip, but they stood firmly nonetheless. Solid as a rock. A wonderful metaphor for contemporary discussion concerning discrimination. You can complain and hide or be proud of who you are and show it.

Because the residents were asked to choose between the designs of 4 different artists and local companies were part of the execution, the artist decided to make the model for casting, at the spot.

What is special about this assignment is that the local business community co-financed the project.

2x2x1 meter coated aluminum, stainless steel.


  • hengelo-01

    Menthol and Roosje

  • hengelo-02

    Menthol and Roosje

  • Menthol and Roosje

  • Detail

  • The model (photoshop)