Populist politician's murder weapon in Rijksmuseum collection

Mevlana Mosque in Rotterdam FaceMePLS/flickr

The pistol used to kill populist politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 became part of the Rijksmuseum's collection in 2012, former director Wim Pijbes said to Quote. Fortuyn's relatives donated the weapon to the museum via the Public Prosecutor, NU.nl reports.

In 2010 the Rijksmuseum announced interest in buying the firearm, in order to one day exhibit it. But due to a commotion that arose, Pijbes abandoned the purchase. After "extensive consultations with the Fortuyn family" the murder weapon was given to the museum in 2012. 

A spokesperson for the museum emphasized that the weapon was not bought from, but donated by the family. The Star Firestar M43 is in the museum's depot and there are no plans to show it to the public in the near future. 

Pijbes, who left the Rijksmuseum last year, wanted to buy the murder weapon for its "historical value". In 2010 he compared the pistol to the sword used to behead pensionary Johan van Barneveld in 1619, which is also exhibited in the museum. According to Pijbes, it will still be several decades before the pistol can be exhibited. 

Pim Fortuyn was shot dead by Volkert van der Graaf at the Media Park in Hilversum on May 6th, 2002.