Crowdfunding restoration stolen paintings Westfries Museum successful

The Westfries Museum can restore all five stolen and returned art works. The successful crowdfunding campaign has ended with a yield of nearly € 85,000.-, including some commitments. “A heartening result”, says Ad Geerdink, director of the Westfries Museum.

Director of the Westfries Museum Ad Geerdink: “We are so grateful and happy that we can now restore all five damaged canvases! The heart-warming campaigns and responses have been overwhelming. This shows the dedication of the people, and that’s what we do it for!” the Westfries Museum needs € 100,000.- for the restoration of these five paintings. € 28.000,- of this is paid by the museum itself. The remaining € 72,000.- had to come from the crowdfunding campaign.

13,000 for the objects that are still missing

Now that more money has been collected than anticipated, this is a great start for any subsequent paintings that will be found: “This is a fantastic result! We will reserve everything that we managed to collect plus the commitments that will be coming in for the restoration of other stolen art works. Art detective Arthur Brand, who greatly contributed to the return of the first five canvases, says that more paintings will  be returned.” The museum still misses another 19 paintings and 70 items of silverware, that were stolen from the museum during a brutal burglary on 9 January 2005.

Exhibition on looted art

The first two art works have been brought to restorer Ronald de Jager. These are ‘Nieuwstraat in Hoorn’ by  Izaak Ouwater and ‘Kitchen Scene’ by Floris van Schooten. The restoration of all five paintings is expected to take 9 months. Once the canvases have been restored they will be exhibited in a new exhibition on looted art in the Westfries museum in the autumn of 2017. As of 1 December 2016 the restoration can be followed via the website of the Westfries Museum;, and via Facebook. Meanwhile, the search for the other stolen works continues.

HOORN, 21 November 2016

In 2005 the heart of the 17th century collection of the Westfries Museum in Hoorn was ripped out, 24 paintings and 70 items of silver. For years on end no trace of these valuable pieces could be found until recently five paintings were rediscovered in theUkraine and handed back to the museum. All of them have sustained major damage having been dragged from place to place. Some of them were recovered in a rolled-up state. Fortunately they can be restored, even though this will be a time-consuming and costly process.

To download images of the stolen masterpieces please go to Images stolen masterpieces.