June 16th, 2006
The menagerie at Beeckestijn, which might be recreated in the future, has not existed for very long. We first hear of it in the early 1760’s and it was probably replaced by a greenhouse in 1784 (which in its turn was demolished in 1957). The fact that the new coalition for the preservance of Beeckestijn has produced plans in which both a menagerie and a greenhouse are among the star attractions, and at the same time suggest that by doing so, the history of this garden can be respected seems a bit odd.
That being said, it is ofcourse true that in order to preserve a location like this, one sometimes needs to cut a few corners to reach a valuable compromise. I should say I fully support the job these people and organisations are doing, and I am glad that the State Secretary for culture has opposed the plans of the counsil of Velsen to sell Beeckestijn to the highest bidder, because the proposed sale conflicted with their own rules for selling the estate.