The Great Gaper & The Great Sunset
The Great Gaper on the Dunne Bierkade has been restored. On Tuesday the 7th of November it was revealed by Wimmie Hofstra MA, MSc, director of the Buitenmuseum (Outdoor Museum).
The origin of this Gaper high on the gable of Dunne Bierkade 23A is a mystery to many. Is this gaper actually a gaper? Is he yawning or is he sticking out his tongue?
Gapers historically used to be found on the gables of pharmacies in the Lower Countries and later also by chemist’s stores. As a symbol of the customer sticking out his tongue in order to get diagnosed. Or of someone who receives a medicine on the tongue.
hen there are gapers and gapers. Some gapers carry the cap and bells of the jester, Other gapers wear a turbin, as a symbol of the exotic regions where the spices and medicine originate from. The Great Gaper however wears a nightcap. Is he yawning upon awakening? Or does he exhale a tormented cry to the many ten thousand of tourists that pass by annually by tour boat or by foot as they are being lead by a city guide. They then in turn gape at him. Or does he gape after them?