Biblical toilet rolls in the leading role

‘When will the toilet paper be restocked?’ Nowadays, it’s an often-heard question in supermarkets. This is obviously due to the coronavirus measures and the response to it. In spite of promises by supermarkets like Albert Heijn and Jumbo, shelves often remain empty. At Sound and Vision in The Hague we have stored two very special rolls; just in case.

These are not ordinary toilet rolls. They were made in Romania and are part of our museum collection. Under the regime of Dictator Ceausescu, practising religion was almost impossible. Western denominations managed to smuggle small numbers of bibles into the communist country. However, many of these bibles were detected and seized by customs. The paper was processed into … toilet paper. In 1984 these thin sheets of paper from the Scriptures were given a second life. We are proud to have them in our collection.

Freedom

The toilet rolls were recently added to the museum collection. They form tangible proof that freedom of religion is not always a basic right.

Freedom (of religion) and publication rights are two pillars which Sound and Vision The Hague zooms in on. The new media museum brings people together – digitally and physically – to research and discuss how we all live in media. Now more than ever before. In this way, we want to contribute to an open and free society where mutual understanding, pluriformity and press freedom are core values. 

And… if you happen to have a special toilet roll that has media value, please let us know!