In A Dutch Town, A Glowing Bike Path Inspired By Van Gogh

November 17, 2014

In the Dutch town of Eindhoven, artist Daan Roosegaarde has paid homage to its most famous resident, Vincent Van Gogh, by creating a glowing bike path that relies on solar-powered LED lights and interprets his classic painting Starry Night.

Roosegaarde says he wants his work, illuminated by thousands of twinkling blue and green lights, to speak to everyone.

“You have people who are interested in technology to make landscapes which are energy neutral,” he tells NPR. “You have people interested in cultural history and experiencing it in a contemporary way. You have boys and girls who have a first date and want to take their date to a special place.”

And, he adds, “You have an artist like me who wants to create something just incredibly poetic; and all that comes together. A good project generates new stories.”

The path, which covers about a half-mile, opened last Wednesday as part of celebrations marking the 125th anniversary of the death of Van Gogh, who lived from 1853 to 1890. He lived in Eindhoven for a few years and used the town as a backdrop for his paintings.

As we reported last week, another Dutch town, Krommenie, installed solar panels on a bike commuter path outside Amsterdam. The power generated by the panels will be funneled into the national energy grid.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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