Broke banker's art collection seized

Oct. 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM
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SPANBROEK, Netherlands, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The permanent collection of a Netherlands art museum has been seized by ABN Amro Bank in lieu of money owed by DSB Bank boss Dirk Scheringa, officials say.

Staffers at the Dirk Scheringa Museum in the Dutch village of Spanbroek told Radio Netherlands Wednesday that ABN Amro officials carted away 130 paintings that had been pledged as collateral for a $48 million loan.

Museum workers said the collection, valued at an estimated $60 million, was packed into trucks and taken away without any prior warning. The collection is owned by DSB Beheer, the holding company of DSB Bank, which this week was declared bankrupt.

Museum Director Sander Uitdenbogaard and Dutch Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk told Radio Netherlands they are holding out hope the collection -- which is focused on the works of Dutch magic realists such as Carel Willink and Dick Ket -- will not be split up and will remain accessible to the public.

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