Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is hoping to buy two early paintings by Rembrandt which will be the most expensive purchase ever made by a Dutch museum.
The museum aims to raise €160m to pay for the two paintings, which are currently owned by the wealthy Rothschild family.
The previous record dates from 1997, when the Dutch central bank paid €37m via a foundation to buy Mondriaan’s Victory Boogie Woogie, now on show at the Gemeente museum in The Hague.
The paintings are a pair of wedding portraits which show Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit and date from 1634. They were sold to the Rothschilds by Amsterdam’s Van Loon family in 1877.
Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes told BNR radio he is planning to make a ‘serious effort’ to buy the works. The museum is now in the process of raising the money but Pijbes declined to say more about the sources.
However, a spokesman for the Dutch culture ministry said it would not be contributing to the purchase.
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