ABN Amro bank seizes DSB boss’s art

ABN Amro bank has seized some 130 paintings from the private art collection of DSB bank boss Dirk Scheringa in lieu of an unpaid mortgage bill, according to media reports.

The art is owned by DSB Beheer, the holding company of DSB bank which was declared bankrupt on Monday. DSB Beheer has also applied for bankruptcy.
DSB Beheer is currently developing a huge new museum to house the collection which is said to be worth some €46m. ABN Amro extended a €32m mortgage to build the 10,000 square metre museum near Alkmaar at the beginning of last year.
Eyewitnesses told the Volkskrant officials arrived at the museum’s current home in an old school in Spanbroek at around 5pm and began covering over the windows. Works of art were then loaded into some seven removal vans ‘in front of weeping museum staff’, the paper said.
Local mayor Gert Jan Nijpels reacted furiously to the seizure and criticised ABN Amro for behaving like ‘a thief in the night’. ‘ABN Amro has to understand that art is not the same as a bag of chips… This village has had so much to deal with over the past few days,’ he said.
On Tuesday, culture minister Ronald Plasterk said the DSB art collection should be kept together for the nation.
‘It would be great for the public, for art in this area and for jobs if the collection could remain intact in its new building,’ Plasterk told RTL news. ‘I call on art lovers nationwide to see what they can do, and I may eventually also play a role.’
The collection includes works by Lucian Freud, Marlene Dumas, René Magritte and Charley Toorop.

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