‘Study debt carpet’ sold to art dealer


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A recent graduate has sold his graduation project to art dealers for the exact amount of his student debt. The five-meter-wide tapestry criticizes the loan system and symbolizes the stress it has caused students.


The huge tapestry created by 31-year-old Mart Veldhuis is called "Own Debt" and made national headlines in April. The work features many cartoonish symbols: two aggressive "State Lions," blue tax envelopes, price tags, a stressed student in the middle, smashed piggy banks and a supermarket called "Always Pain," with an Albert Heijn-like logo.



The artist sold the rug for 45,879.40 euros, the amount of the student debt he accumulated while studying at the Utrecht School of the Arts. This did not yet fully pay off his study debt, because tax had to be paid on the sale as well, writes de Volkskrant. 


The art dealers who eventually bought the work want it to be exhibited in public spaces. Currently, the Dordrecht Museum has it on loan. Veldhuis would prefer it to be hung in the Lower House, he tells the newspaper. He hopes that future policymakers "will then think twice from now on" before reintroducing such a system. (HOP, PvT)