In the north hall (towards the jetty, where the East Indiaman Amsterdam and the Royal Barge are located) there has been a brick wall since 2011, built by the Scottish artist Nathan Coley. The artwork is called: 'Bringing back the ballast'.
This brick wall is a piece of art by the Scottish artist Nathan Coley. It was commissioned by the Dutch Government Buildings Agency to mark the renovation in 2011 of 's Lands Zeemagazijn, also known as Het Scheepvaartmuseum.
Coley sought inspiration from the voyages of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the West India Company (WIC). The ships of the VOC and the WIC carried bricks with them as ballast. Once the ship reached their destination, the bricks were used to build walls, houses and forts.
Coley sent the centuries-old bricks of this wall on a voyage of their own.
In a container, they were shipped to four historic locations: Singapore, Fremantle (Australia), Paramaribo and St. Eustatius. The journey ended at Het Scheepvaartmuseum, where Coley constructed this wall with the bricks in 2011.
According to Coley, this wall symbolises the Netherlands colonial past.