'De Bospoldervos' – Rotterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

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'De Bospoldervos'

A massive stone fox oversees a Rotterdam elementary school crosswalk. 


When walking through the Rotterdam suburbs, one might not expect to see a 32-foot tall fox statue—but that’s exactly what the artist was going for. 

“The Bospoldervos,” or the forest polder fox, is a 2021 statue created by Florentijn Hofman, who is known for creating enormous statues that clash with their environment. Hofman chose the neighborhood where he was raised—Bospolder-Tussendijken—for the setting, an area that was home to this species of fox back when it was an undeveloped forest. Even as it’s now fully urbanized, wild foxes can still be seen roaming the streets. One takeaway from Hofman’s piece is indeed how close nature is to this busy road. 

The fox is depicted holding a disposable pink plastic bag in its mouth which, according to the artist, signifies how badly the area was afflicted with litter in years past. While the banning of plastic bags from markets in recent years has helped, the artist hopes to call attention to the consequences of littering with his piece. It also adds a bit of mystery and humanity to the fox, begging questions like, “Why does it carry the bag?” and “what’s in it?”

Though the fox has not stood there for very long, it has quickly become a beloved part of the neighborhood. Neighboring an elementary school at a busy crosswalk, children often play on its feet, while pedestrians often hide from the rain beneath it. Its bright colors contrast with the gray cityscape and add some much-needed color to this sleepy corner of Rotterdam.

Know Before You Go

The statue is freely accessible.

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