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Scattered throughout the city of Leiden, in The Netherlands, are over one hundred poems carefully hand-painted on the exterior walls of buildings. These include the works of Rimbaud, Shakespeare, W. B. Yeats, Marina Tsvetaeva, Dylan Thomas, Derek Walcott as well as local writers. Most of them are in Dutch and English. A couple of them are in Turkish, Moroccan, Chinese, Surinam, and other languages.

The Wall Poems project started in 1992 and was funded partly by the private Tegen-Beeld foundation of Ben Walenkamp and Jan-Willem Bruins, with additional funding coming from several corporations and the city of Leiden. The first poem was from the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. The project officially concluded in 2005 with the Spanish poem De profundis by Federico Garcia Lorca, but new poems continued to be added as recently as 2010.


A wall poem in Leiden, the Netherlands. Photo credit: Bic/Wikimedia

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