A well executed nonsensical prank.

The city is building a new metro in Amsterdam. Things are not exactly going as planned, one of the problems is that some old but beautiful houses are on the verge of collapsing. In order to prevent further damage the ground in one of the pits is being frozen. The exhaust of this giant fridge is spitting out clouds of steam right outside the office where I work.

This morning we spotted a man enjoying a steam bath on a well crafted wooden block, a bucket with – I assume – cold water in front of him and a towel over his head on top of the exhaust. It took most of us some time to see that this was not a human being, it’s a plastic mannequin. Lucky us. Mannequins are known to be very patient and they enjoy hot steam for a much longer time than humans.

I hope this statue stays where it is as long as the exhaust is working, or longer, why not. We could let it become another one of those little secrets that spice up this city. Unfortunately someone decided that we don’t need another masterpiece in Amsterdam. According to this Dutch newspaper article the police removed the statue because the kept getting alarm calls from people who thought the man was alive and in danger.

Update Februari 5th, 2010

The sauna man is back! Not as impressive as the previous version, he’s quite a bit smaller now but he’s back. At least the police won’t get any panic calls this time. And I think his name is Ken.