€160 mil. Rembrandts displayed in Paris, restored in Amsterdam

Brother and Sister of the Night Watch
Rembrandt portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/artyzm.com/www.wga.hu)Rembrandt portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/artyzm.com/www.wga.hu)

After four months of negotiations the Netherlands and France have reached an agreement on their 160 million euro combined purchase of two Rembrandt portraits. The portraits, set for a lengthy restoration, will first undergo a brief touchup. They will then go on display in Paris for three months before arriving in Amsterdam, the ANP newswire reported on Monday.

Following a similar viewing in Amsterdam, the paintings will be fully restored at the Rijksmuseum under the supervision of an international team of experts. Once concluded, the 1634 wedding portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit will remain on display in Amsterdam for five years before returning to Paris.

After that, they will be transported back and forth every eight years. They will not be loaned out to other museums.

Technically, the painting of Soolmans is owned by the Netherlands, while the French own the Coppit work, however the two works will not be split up. Together, they are often referred to as Brother and Sister of the Night Watch.

The Rijksmuseum ultimately won the right to conduct the restoration because of its ability to correct yellowed varnish, the newswire stated.

A plan to tour the portraits around the provincial capitals of the Netherlands was scrapped as part of the deal. The deal was signed by Dutch cultural minister Jet Bussemaker and Fleur Pellerin, her French counterpart.

Also on hand at the signing were Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes and Alexander Pechtold, the leader of the D66 party, on behalf of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.