Play Moresnet

Sculpture, 2017
Photography by Niels Albers

Where there is now the tripoint between Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, there was once an quadripoint, which was unique in the world. The fourth country in this quadripoint was the neutral state of Moresnet. After Napoleon lost his war against Prussia, the leaders of Europe came together to redraw the borders. A mistake was made between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Prussia. A small strip of land with a zinc mine was not given to any of the two countries. There was a lot of debate on how to divide this land which resulted in that this neutral state, Moresnet, came to exist for more than a hundred years up until the beginning of the first world war.

This work, a game, is made in the shape of this historical neutral state. The puppets are the shape of border stones, the only visible remnants today of ‘the Neutral state of Moresnet’. The ball is made of zinc and the rods can be ‘played’ from two sides of the table, referring to the two countries ‘fighting’ over the zinc mine. The game is meant to be played and the viewer is invited to take part.