Dutch police coin it in Sagmeister raid

An installation created by graphic design guru Stefan Sagmeister for Droog has been confiscated by Dutch police as a ‘precautionary’ measure to safeguard the artwork from being stolen.

Local residents in Amsterdam earlier this week noticed two people sweeping up the coins that formed the installation, and alerted police, who, according to Droog, came on site and put the coins in a bag, to be ‘on the safe side’.

Ironically, the installation, made from 300 000 coins and which took 150 volunteers three days to lay out, was intended to engage the public, encouraging them to interact with the installation so that it would become something else.

A Droog spokeswoman explains, ‘It’s difficult to give one definition for the art piece, but it was a flexible installation. We knew that somebody would do something like rearrange the coins or take them away, but we didn’t expect the police to take them away.’

Sagmeister’s installation was part of Droog’s Urban Play, a series of installations in and around Amsterdam – and a collaboration with cultural biennale Experimentadesign – that aims to get city dwellers thinking creatively about their environment by encouraging interaction with the artworks.

Experimentadesign Amsterdam – part of the new design festival Freedesigndom, with venues located between the Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht – runs until 2 November.

This year’s theme – space and place – explores the city as a landscape, which has been shaped and will continue to be shaped through human intervention such as design, architecture and engineering.

For more information, visit www.freedesigndom.com. To see more pictures of the Sagmeister installation and others that are part of Experimentadesign, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/anjens/.

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