Thierry Baudet, leader of the far right Forum voor Democratie, was the only party chief not briefed about the cabinet’s decision to spend €150m on a new Rembrandt.
‘We knew we had to keep the purchase quiet,’ because it had not been finalised, culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven told the AD in an interview. She said she did not trust the way Baudet practiced politics and that ‘the importance of confidentiality was more important’ than briefing him.
The deal to buy The Standard Bearer for a total of €175m was made public on December 8. The Rembrandt Vereniging, an association made up of some 16,000 private sponsors, and the Rijksmuseum purchasing fund contributed another €12.5m each to buy the painting from the wealthy Rothschild family, taking the total price to €175m.
MPs later approved the deal although there was some concern about the way so much taxpayers money was being spent on a single work of art at a time when the culture sector was struggling because of coronavirus.
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