Coen Building

Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587-1629) was an officer of the VOC (Dutch East Inda Company) and was the founder of Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia). He was long considered a national hero in the Netherlands. A building, a school, streets and a tunnel were named after him, and a statue was placed on the center square of Hoorn, his hometown in the Netherlands. A famed quote of his from 1618, "Despair not, spare your enemies not, for God is with us", illustrates his single-minded ruthlessness. In 1621, he led an armed assault of Banda, taking the island of Lonthor by force. Many thousands were massacred and replaced by slave labour from other islands to make way for Dutch planters. Of the 15,000 inhabitants only about a thousand survived on the island. Coen managed to reconquer Batavia in 1619 with fire destroying most of the town during the process. He rebuilt the city and fort, and wanted to name it Nieuw Hoorn, but didn't get his way. Why are streets and buildings still named after this cruel oppressor? Why is the statue not moved to a museum?

The marketing team of the Coen Building (Coengebouw) in Amsterdam,  developed slogans like "Coen Is King", "Make Coen, Not War" and "A Good Coen Is Hard To Find". They should look into history. 


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