Rembrandts worth €160 million will not arrive in 2015; no nat’l tour

Brother and Sister of the Night Watch
Rembrandt portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/ (Rembrandt portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/

The two Rembrandt paintings jointly bought by the Netherlands and France for 160 million euros will not arrive in the Netherlands before the end of this year, according to a spokesperson for the Rijksmuseum. The portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit will also not be going on a national tour.

The negotiations on when which country will have the portraits is still ongoing, the Rijksmuseum spokesperson said to Het Parool. The agreements must be made between the seller - a French branch of the Rothschild family -and the governments of France and the Netherlands. A spokesperson for Culture Minister Jet Bussemaker could not tell the newspaper at what stage the negotiations currently are and whether an end is in sight.

Due to the joint purchase, the two full length portraits will be displayed in the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre in turns. The Rijksmuseum also wanted to do a national tour, during which the paintings would be displayed in each of the provinces' capitals, but the French authorities will not agree to this, Den Haag FM reports.

The Dutch and French governments closed the deal to jointly buy the two Rembrandt wedding portraits in September. The Dutch government made 80 million euros available for the portraits, a decision that was quite unpopular with many voters. France contributed the other 80 million. The Rijksmuseum will carry the costs for the restorations.