The Akwaglot being constructed in 2021. Photo: DUB

Akwaglot to be moved to the Botanical Gardens

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The controversial piece of art is going to be removed from the Catharijnesingel canal. But it is soon going to be put to use again. From the end of April, the floating platform will be used as a pavilion in the new Evolution Garden, a part of the Botanical Gardens located in the Utrecht Science Park.

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The Akwaglot is being dismantled on Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8. The wooden artwork was placed in the Catharijnesingel in June 2021 to celebrate the joint lustrum of Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. The platform was meant to serve as a meeting point between science and society.

The original idea was to keep the Akwaglot in the canal until December 2022. However, earlier this year the municipality made clear that it would not grant permission for this. The fact that the artwork was highly criticised by Utrecht's residents probably influenced the municipality's decision, but Akwaglot also proved to be an obstacle for the tourist boats that moor in the canal in the summer.

Seeking an alternative location for it, the university got in touch with the Botanical Gardens, which were already supposed to host the artwork, albeit in 2023. Now the move is going to take place a year earlier than planned. In the Botanical Gardens, Akwaglot will function as a pavilion at the Evolution Garden, currently under construction.

The Evolution Garden is set to tell the evolution story of the floral kingdom. From the heart of the garden, visitors will be able to follow paths showing them the evolution of flower plants. The garden will also be used for many tutorials, with its setup changing according to new scientific insights. Design agency Hemelse Natuur has been working on the project for the past two years and started the execution of the plans earlier this year.

Thus this garden will be the new home of Akwaglot. In April, the artwork is going to be one of the locations where water board Hoogheemraadschap de Stichtse Rijnlanden will be organising activities to celebrate 900 years of water management in the region.

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