V12 Laraki

Eric van Hove, Belgian (born in Algeria, works in Brussels and Marakech), born 1975


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Mixed media (53 materials)

Overall: 43 5/16 × 35 7/16 × 33 7/8 in. (110 × 90 × 86 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W'18 Fund and through a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Hazen, by exchange

Art © Eric van Hove. Photo by François Fernandez.



Place Made: Algeria, North Africa, Africa


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


V12 Laraki, an ornate replica of the V12 Mercedes Benz engine, is Eric van Hove’s most significant work. At the International Geneva Motor Fair in 2004, Abdeslam Laraki unveiled the Laraki Fulgra, a high-performance sports car. It was created with locally sourced materials from Morocco with the exception of the engine, an imported Mercedes-Benz V12 engine made in Germany. The elegant V12 Laraki, though non-functional, is van Hove’s response to the auto maker’s inability to create a Moroccan car engine. It brings together Western industrial tradition, represented in the car engine, and the millennium- long craftsmanship heritage of the Maghreb region in Africa. Van Hove created the stunning sculpture in collaboration with 43 talented craftsmen from across Morocco. They worked for nine months to manually recreate each of the roughly 455 individual components of the V12 engine, using traditional craftsmanship methods and 53 local materials that include Middle Atlas white cedar wood, mother- of-pearl, yellow copper, nickel-plated copper, forged iron, recycled aluminum, nickel silver, and cow bone, among others. The names of the craftsmen are inscribed on the base of the engine.

From the 2019 exhibition Global Contemporary: A Focus on Africa, curated by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Curator of African Art

Course History

HIST 63.2 , Reading Artifacts: The Material Culture of Science, Richard Kremer, Spring 2016

Exhibition History

Eric van Hove: Atchillitallah- On the Transformation of Things, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany, November 11, 2016-February 12, 2017.

Eric Van Hove: The Craft of Art, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 5-May 1, 2016.

Global Contemporary: A Focus on Africa; Dorothy and Churchill Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26-December 8, 2019.

Inventory: New Works and Conversations around African Art, Friends Gallery/Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 16-March 13, 2016.

Marrakech Biennale, 2014, Marrakech, Morocco. Traveled to several European venues through the fall of 2015


The artist, Brussels, Belgium; purchased by the present collection, 2014.

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