Bert Hermans
'When the cat's away ...'
Oil on linen
60 x 80 x 5 cm

On September 12, 2020, Bert took a tour of the former Zuiderziekenhuis in Rotterdam as part of the Open Monument Days. A beautiful building with many scenic spots.
The Zuiderziekenhuis, also known as the Zuider, was a hospital in South Rotterdam. In 2000 the Zuiderziekenhuis merged with the Sint Clara Hospital to form Maasstad Hospital. The hospital was located on Groene Hilledijk and was closed in March 2011 after the completion of the new building of Maasstad Hospital. It is now being completely renovated.
At the beginning of 2008, the project developer "De Groene Groep" had bought the site of the "Zuider". Plans were made to give the site a new function, leaving only the main building and the side wings of the hospital. This included living and working, office buildings and shops. De Groene Groep expected to deliver the site between 2016 and 2018, but ultimately aimed for demolition. However, the action group "Vreewijk in Actie" wanted to prevent the demolition. As a result, monumental buildings were saved at the last minute. The Main or Central Building is now being converted into homes by Maatschappij BOEi and the Voorgebouw and the pavilions to the Zuiderhof, where living and working functions are combined. In 2017 it was announced that the former Zuiderziekenhuis will now be permanently made suitable for the Zuider Gymnasium. The complex will also include workplaces for entrepreneurs, single-family homes and apartments.
The title of the painting "When the cat's away ..." refers to the stories that were circulating about the Zuiderziekenhuis ( Some said it was haunted and another said, "Men went after women. Women behind the men. And also a lot of gossip ".