Some readers may remember the Mandril Cultural and Political Centre at Boschstraat 5, which was built from scratch by students in Maastricht City. They spent their time, and own money (!) in fixing up what was an abandoned building for many years. They named it the Mandril because they found old copies of the monthly magazine Mandril, Maandblad voor Mensen which was published from October 1949 until January 1953. Mandril at the Boschstraat became a multifunctional place where people lived and organized various events, a cultural freezone, much like their big cousin Landbouwbelang.
The building’s new function was condoned by the municipality for quite a few years, and it was known that eventually a local theater ensemble would become the new official tenants of the building. At the time, there were even talks with the aldermen in charge of the plans, and a meeting with the director of the theater ensemble.
But… those aldermen are no longer aldermen, nor is that director the director of that theater ensemble anymore. Nevertheless, Mandril had to be evacuated and moved to a new location at the Cabergerweg. Following are two videos, one from Mandril’s last days, and an item at RTV Maastricht in which Paul Rinkens, a well-known Maastricht businessman and entrepreneur (QBIC Hotels) expresses the significance of places like Mandril and how he wished he would have realized this sooner and not have just visited towards its closure.
Boschstraat 5 is still empty. Abandoned. Ever since Mandril packed up and left, because they had to, in 2014. Well, Boschstraat 5 WAS empty and abandoned, because a new group of cultural entrepreneurs, the cultural underground of Maastricht, have opened its doors and are breathing new life in its soul for Kunsttour Maastricht.