Ambassadors receive a unique Orange vase from Old Dutch Waterline

Amerongen – A very special moment during the symposium at Amerongen Castle last Saturday 15 October. The ambassadors from Ukraine, Belgium, Bosnia, Germany, France and Great Britain and the King’s Commissioner received a unique orange vase. Traditionally produced by Royal Crystal Leerdam and offered by Stichting Oude Hollandse Waterlinie.

Director Anastasia van der Lugt: “It is very special to be in this company on this occasion. Our enemies from the past are our allies for the future.” Van der Lugt pointed out that this year marked 350 years since the armies of the French King Louis XIV invaded the Netherlands. It has gone down in history as the year of disaster 1672. Besides France, England , Münster and Cologne also at war with the Netherlands. Stadholder William III saw the tide turn due to the rapid establishment of the old Dutch water line and clever diplomacy. The role of diplomacy in times of crisis is a topical issue to this day.

Orange vases. Photo: Old Dutch Waterline Foundation

For this reason, Amerongen Castle organized a symposium on diplomacy in 1672 and now on 15 October. In addition to the vision of the European ambassadors, the program also included the history of the old Dutch water line. It is a great privilege that we, together with the ambassadors of the countries we were at war with 350 years ago, have now been able to speak in peace at a symposium about things that connect us.

Views on diplomacy from European ambassadors

Ed Kronenburg, Secretary General (SG) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2012 and former ambassador to Paris and Beijing: “In the year of disaster 1672, diplomacy played an important role. Diplomacy is also crucial in 2022. The question here is, can we learn from the past? Is Are there parallels between the catastrophic year 1672 and the current situation?” The ambassadors present discussed this and gave their views on the role of diplomacy in times of crisis and its importance for 2022. Among other things, the relationship between the year of disaster 1672 and the current political situation in Europe was discussed. The ambassador of Ukraine arrived a little late due to the circumstances. When he came in, however, Mr. Kononenko received a standing ovation from the audience.

Orange vase and Old Dutch Waterline Foundation

In the year of disaster 1672, the old Dutch water line ensured a successful defense of the Netherlands. By fortifying fortified towns, building redoubts and flooding a large area, attacks by the French armies were repulsed. On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the Old Dutch Waterline, Royal Leerdam Crystal has released an Orange vase; made by Dutch designer Wieki Somers in collaboration with Sommer Dutch Glass Art.

The thoughtful design clearly shows the typical form of fortified cities, and by filling the vase with water it is associated with the floods of 1672. With the Oranjevasje Oude Hollandse Waterlinie 350 edition, Royal Leerdam Crystal emphasizes the importance of the Oude Hollandse Waterlinie. Waterline and the relevant role that the line can play in the present, such as the recent use of flooding as a defense in Ukraine.

Forget, forgive and remember

The traditionally blown vases were received with enthusiasm and interest in the craftsmanship and history of the old Dutch water line. Van der Lugt thanked all the ambassadors after handing over the vases and addressed them on behalf of the foundation with the words: “We must forgive and forget the past in order to act future-oriented and cooperate in the present. It is also important that we remember and learn from our past. We hope this orange vase will serve as a symbol of this commemoration.”

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