limes2021

Giant Roman Mask placed in Nijmegen

A giant Roman mask of 6 at 5.5 meters gives a striking view over the river Waal. It is a 2000 kilo replica of a silver plated Roman facemask from the Valkhof Museum in Nijmegen.

Artist Andreas Hetfeld won a competition in 2017 with his idea for a replica of the mask. Not only is the artwork very large, you can also climb inside the mask via a staircase. The monumental enlargement, which will serve as a lookout post, makes the mask impressive in a different way than the original mask. Using modern materials, the artist gives it a new function from a contemporary interpretation. The facemask offers visitors a view of the beautiful, wide Nijmegen landscape, as if they were looking at the present from the distant past.

More than a hundred years ago, the mask was dredged from the river Waal. It is the facemask of the the helmet of a Roman horseman and dates back to the second half of first century A.D. The relatively large openings for eyes, nose and mouth make the mask suitable for wearing during the fight “These masks had to scare the enemy,” says Hetfeld. These masks will also have been worn during parades, tournaments and ceremonial occasions, where the horsemen could demonstrate their skills.