Amsterdam has lost a bird of paradise: Fabiola, Amsterdam’s self-declared ‘living work of art’, died of cancer on January 27.
She was most well-known for her exotic, exquisite and colourful costumes, with which she would parade the streets whenever a public gathering was going on. She would be seen at any gay parade, but also other manifestations and demonstrations.
Fabiola was born as Peter Alexander van Linden in Germany, in 1946. As a child she moved to Belgium, and in the 1960’s she moved to Amsterdam – to stay there the rest of her life.
She became a national celebrity after she climbed on a pedestal in an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam’s modern art museum), in the 1970’s. Especially after she appeared in the nationally televised talk show Sonja op Zaterdag, here fame reached new heights. From then on Fabiola acted as ‘living work of art’.
Fabiola was part of the radical gay movement in the 1970’s for some time. Freedom of the individual, resistance against the grey masses, always remained her main goal.
On February 1 Fabiola’s body floated on the river Amstel, on a colourfully decorated small boat, to the Zorgvlied cemetery, where she was buried.