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In this facade the Greek god Hermes stands amidst two allegorical figures, presumably depicting trade and agriculture.
Hermes is easily recognizable by the attributes that are so characteristic of him: on his head he wears the winged sun helmet, in his hands he has the caduceus (the herald's staff that is often wrapped in snakes but not here) and on his feet he has sandals with wings. These attributes refer to what he was known for: the messenger of the gods.
In Roman mythology we encounter Mercury who was endowed with the same attributes, but with him the main emphasis was on being the god of travellers, trade and profit.
His name is probably derived from mercator meaning merchant.

The property Grote Gracht 84 came into the possession of Joannes Jacobus Antonius Groutaers in 1886. He was a stockbroker who lived and had his office at Boschstraat 70. From advertisements it can be deduced that at that time there was a butcher's shop or something like that at Grote Gracht. In 1926 the building was bought by the Insurance Bank de Maas (later placed under AMEV, which then came under ASR again). In 1937 the building was demolished and a year later rebuilt. It is not clear whether the statues were installed then or reinstalled again. The Cultural Heritage Image Bank contains a photo from 1917 which shows that the appearance of the building was very different then and the statues were not there yet (see photo from 1917).

The sculptures were probably made by Charles Vos. The composition, style and iconography are very reminiscent of the sculptures which he made two years earlier for the then Province House (side Lenculenstraat). There you see a miner on the left, a farm worker on the right and Intelligentia in the middle. It is known that Charles Vos depicted the head of his assistant Wim van Hoorn in the heads of this work. That same head is also recognizable in the farm worker on Grote Gracht 84 (see photo Lenculenstraat).

In 1964 the municipality bought both properties Grote Gracht 82 and 84 and later sold them to the General Miners' Fund. Currently the building is owned and used by Maastricht University.

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