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City to employ Delft Blue pottery to raise its profile

Cashing in on identity

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DELFT, the Netherlands – The city of Delft wants to use its most famous product to raise its profile both at home and abroad. Delft Blue pottery is well known throughout the world and is one of the Dutch town's best-known export products as well as a tourist attraction.

The city’s council wants to use Delft Blue pottery to attract more tourists by fashioning public seating and street furniture in the characteristic blue patterns, as well as placing Delft blue art in public places. Among the initiatives are a 'Porcelain walking route' and a Delft Pottery Centre.

The city's ambitions go even further. Delft, home to about 96,000 people, plans to hold an international ceramics exhibition in 2010 if the project can obtain sufficient funding. A year later, it wants to host a congress of the Urban Network for Innovation in Ceramics (UNIC).

Delft’s municipal executive (known in short in Dutch as B&W), also wants to breathe new life into its relationship with Jingdezhen, in China, by holding an exhibition on the ceramics trade between China and the Netherlands that first flourished 400 years ago. Delft Blue pottery has been made in the city from which it gets its name as far back as the 17th century.

Delft received its city charter in 1246 and is also the birthplace of Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), the lawyer who laid the foundations for international law.