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Image by thomas heintz


Day of the Tulip

April 1, 2022 is declared "Day of the Tulip" by European City of Science and Tulip Manie Leiden had a number of activities on the calendar for that day. Listen  here to the conversation between Lucien Geelhoed, intendant of Leiden European City of Science 2022, and Leonie Kaptein, initiator of Tulip Mania Leiden on radio Weetlust. After the broadcast, Lucien received a specially made heritage card of Leiden. 


Lucien Geelhoud of Leiden 2022 receives the Leiden heritage card from project leader Tulpenmanie, Leonie Kaptein 

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The Heritage card Leiden shows iconic buildings, such as the University, the Pieterskerk, the Burcht, Gravensteen.

In the afternoon there was an interesting high tea at Kasteel Oud-Poelgeest, where, in addition to delicious biscuits, tulip tea was served and tulip pilsner could be tasted.  Leonie Kaptein of DNA in Beeld and initiator of Tulip Mania Leiden gave a lecture about tulips and DNA. After the presentation everyone went outside to see the tulip tree at Boerhave and the giant tulip bulb from the Giant Tulip Bulbs art project. These works of art are made by artists from the bulb region. 

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Leonie Kaptein gives a presentation at Oud-Poelgeest castle about DNA, the tulip and the background of the Tulipe Mania Leiden project

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The high-tea was a success! Tulip tea was served.

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Art made by the Giant Tulip Bulbs collective.

Tulip Mania exhibit at BplusC

Tulip Mania Leiden, together with BplusC, has installed a special exhibition at the location Stevenshof. Tulip Mania proudly presents the series of twelve collages/watercolors,  "Tulip Mania"  by the American artist Anna Fine Foer, which she made during the period 2016-2018. The works show different aspects of the Tulip Mania during the 17th century, but also show parallels with current cryptocurrency trading. Anna Fine Foer collaborated with scientists from Leiden University who started sequencing and mapping the tulip genome at the time. The DNA code of the tulip can be found in a number of her art works. The works at BplusC are prints of the originals. Read more about Anna Fine Foer's Tulip mania series and her connection to Leiden:

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Mosaic Virus - ©Anna Fine Foer

In addition, two showcases have been set up, one with background information about the Tulip Mania Leiden project and one with the history of how the tulip from Asia came to the Netherlands, shown in images and text. 

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The Ottoman Love of the Tulip - Levni (1680s-1732)

The exhibit is on display until the end of September 2022. 

Science and Earth Day

On April 23, Earth and Science Day was organized at the Hortus. The theme was "the earth is a mirror for life above the ground". The Tulip Mania team was present to explain the project, and there were various activities to do, such as a game where you can read DNA in 3D, and folding tulips. The artwork "The Gekskap" by artist Regula Maria Müller could also be visited. It's connection to the tulip mania of the 17th century could be explored. The fully blooming  Master Peace tulips in the planters of the Tulip Manie project right at the entrance of the Hortus attracted many visitors.


Leonie Kaptein explains how the tulip genome was sequenced using the minION technique.


These beautiful tulips could be folded at the Tulip Mania stand.


Visitors exploring the Tulip Mania project


The planter experiment is a crowd pleaser!


April 25, 2022 was DNA Day!
Every year on April 25, DNA day is organized worldwide. DNA Day commemorates the successful sequencing of the entire human genome in 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix configuration by Watson and Crick in 1953. The purpose of DNA Day is to provide students, educators, and other interested parties the opportunity to learn about the latest advances in DNA research and discover the impact it has on their own lives.
Tulip Mania Leiden organized a number of activities together with BplusC and Hogeschool Leiden.
In the morning Arjen Speksnijder, professor of metagenomics
  Leiden University of Applied Sciences and Naturalis gave a presentation at BplusC Nieuwstraat. Arjen talked about how DNA techniques are applied to identify plants and animals and how DNA technology is used to detect and monitor hidden biodiversity. He also spoke about bird strikes, food integrity, smuggling of protected species, as well as water, soil and air quality.


Arjen Speksnijder gives a lecture on metagenomics


Arjen Speksnijder explains different techniques with equipment he brought along.

Subsequently, Ken Kraaijeveld of LCAB (Leiden Center of Applied BioSciences) took the visitors on a DNA walk through Leiden. He told stories about DNA based on nature in the city. The end point of the walk was in the Hortus Botanicus, where Leonie Kaptein took over from Ken and informed everyone about the tub project with the blooming Tulipa Masterpeace tulips. She then took the interested parties to the courtyard where the artwork by Regula Maria Müller is located and explained the origin and creation of "de Gekskap".


Ken Kraaijeveld  tells about DNA around us.


Leonie Kaptein explains the artwork "de Gekskap" by Regula Maria Muller.


Historical tulips with their names are embroidered on the inside of the Gekskap.

"Jaar van de Tuin" in conversation with
Carla Teune en Leonie Kaptein

In this broadcast of the Jaar van de Tuin, former hortulana Carla Teune explains where tulips come from, how to plant them and what you can do with wilted tulips. Initiator of Tulpen Mania Leiden, Leonie Kaptein, explains what the Tulip Mania project entails and how you can win a soil analysis of your garden! 

"Jaar van de Tuin" in conversation with organic tulip farmer John Huiberts

In this broadcast of "het Jaar van de Tuin, organic tulip grower John Huiberts, the grower of the Tulipa Masterpeace bulbs used for the Tulip Mania project, explains why he decided 8 years ago to switch from traditional tulip cultivation to organic tulip cultivation, which in short means no use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. John also tells about the effect of organic cultivation on biodiversity and what else you can do with an organic tulip besides looking at it with admiration.  

The interview with John starts at 20:30 min on the broadcast

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