The 'text house'. Photo: Paul Cox


Erasmus University

Pierre Bayle Monument to campus Erasmus University Rotterdam

In 2011, the world-famous philosopher Pierre Bayle received one monument in Rotterdam. Artist Paul Cox did not design a statue, but a 'text house'. In this beautifully designed, intimate pavilion, people can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The cottage was originally made for Crooswijk, but it hardly came into its own there. The monument will be officially transferred to Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) on November 2 by CBK Rotterdam on behalf of the Municipality of Rotterdam. The university already has a Pierre Bayle Building, and now also gets a monument.

Pierre Bayle (Carla-Bayle, 1647 - Rotterdam, 1706) is regarded as one of the most important pioneers of lighting. He praised reason, opposed any superstition, but also believed that superstition and faith are inseparable. In his writings, he defended the principles of tolerance and tolerance - even unbelievers and heretics should be tolerated. His motto was: 'Ashamed to call for violence in the name of your religion!'Bayle was born in a village at the foot of the Pyrenees. He worked at the Sedan Academy.

Pierre Bayle and Rotterdam

In 1681 this Protestant academy was canceled by the king. In this anti-Protestant climate, Bayle was forced to flee to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. After all, religious freedom prevailed there. The mayor of Rotterdam, Adriaen Paets, had invited him to Rotterdam. Here he was appointed professor at the Illustrious School and wrote his most important works, including the famous Dictionaire historique et critique (1697). His ideas were considered radical by many - including in Rotterdam. In 1691, Bayle was suspended as a professor and was officially released from his position two years later. The philosopher who called for understanding and tolerance was himself condemned as a heretic. He died in 1706 and was buried in the Walloon Church. After the demolition of the church in 1922, the grave remains were transferred to the Crooswijk General Cemetery.

'judge people by what they do, by how they behave. And don't worry about what they all believe. '

Artist Paul Cox designed it Monument for Pierre Bayle as a text or chat house. Quotes are printed in the walls that relate to the conviction of Pierre Bayle. The Rotterdam professor Wiep van Bunge explains why Pierre Bayle Monument current is: "Bayle gave an answer to a very simple question that many people from Rotterdam still struggle with: how do you deal with people who are different? For example, because they have a different religion than yours, or because their cradle or that of their parents was not in the Netherlands. Bayle's answer was: judge people on what they do, on how they behave. And don't worry about what they all believe. Don't try to make other people the way you are. That leads irrevocably to violence. That is why I am so happy with the shape of the monument: a chat house'.

About artist Paul Cox

The Rotterdam artist Paul Cox (1962) studied at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts and Design in Den Bosch and the Staatliche art academy in Düsseldorf. His work is multidisciplinary and often consists of long-term projects, such as the project 'I came by boat, on which he worked for nine years. In addition to his practice as an artist, Cox is affiliated with the Willem de Kooning Academy.

The unveiling of the Pierre Bayle Monument takes place in the Erasmus Gallery and at Park Noord on the campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2 November 2018, from 15: 00 hours.