On January 15, 2020, this four-foot bronze statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. was placed in the Martin Luther King Park in Amsterdam without anyone knowing.
The statue is the second in the same park, after a small likeness of King on a large wooden pedestal, which was part of temporary Monument for Martin Luther King. The project Monument for Martin Luther King was developed in 2018, 50 years after the activist’s assassination. Fifty identical statues were placed across the globe in locations that refer to slavery and places that emphasize the importance to end racism and fight for equality.
After the temporary monument was put up, there was widespread community support for a permanent memorial. Many believed that there should have already been one in the park that was named after him. But after picking a location for the new statue, the planning process slowed. The leaders of Monument for Martin Luther King decided to take things into their own hands, and had a statue installed on King’s birthday.
On the back of the statue, there is a quotation from King that reads: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.”