The bust was unveiled fifty years and one week after the date on which Jan Tinbergen was awarded the Nobel Prize. On 10 December 1969, Tinbergen and the Norwegian economist Ragnar Frisch were jointly presented with the first Nobel Prize in economics. The sculpture was created by Lia Krol, who spent half a year working on the bust.

Immediately after the unveiling ceremony, Tinbergen’s daughter Hanneke lovingly stroked the ‘hair’ of her father’s bust. “We were always allowed to do that to him on Sundays”, she said. She and her sister Els used to think their father’s hair looked rather bristly. “It looked a bit like a hedgehog”, said Els. “But it was very soft”, Hanneke assured.


Many of Tinbergen’s relatives had made their way to the campus for the unveiling ceremony – not just his daughters and grandchildren, but a great-granddaughter, too. She studied psychology at EUR and always found it very exciting to see her great-grandfather’s name in so many places. After the ceremony, the family were addressed by both people who personally knew Tinbergen and people who did not know him at all. Former students, in particular, seemed to relish this opportunity to reminisce about the time they were taught by Tinbergen.

A man who says his name is Bernard Jochems told the family that he was first taught by the Nobel laureate in 1947. “He was teaching a statistics course at the time. It was ridiculous, obviously, that a guy like him should teach an introductory course. But he only did it for two years.” Jochems then studied with Tinbergen during the latter stages of his degree programme, and during one of those seminars, Tinbergen allegedly asked the group of ten students why their group was so small. “We immediately told him it wasn’t his fault. ‘You are an excellent and clear lecturer’, we told him. And I wanted to tell his relatives, as well.”

Jan Tinbergen’s bust is located in the entrance hall of the E-Building on the Woudestein campus.

Watch here how artist Lia Krol made the sculpture. Source: