Update / videoENSCHEDE – The Rijksmuseum Twenthe can still call itself a single owner Precious painting By English landscape painter John Constable. The museum has reached a settlement with the seller, art dealer Simon Dickinson. Cyber criminals escaped with the purchase amount three years ago.
The settlement, which received approval from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, marks the end of a long-running legal battle.
The Enschede Museum bought the painting in 2018 for 2.6 million euros, but has transferred the money to an “ incorrect account ” in Hong Kong. The cyber criminals manipulated the mail traffic between the two parties and collected the purchase amount. The museum filed a complaint, but at the same time it went to court in London to force the painting to remain in its chant.
Director Arnaud Uding of the Rijksmuseum Twenty says he’s happy and relieved to have settled. He came about two weeks ago.
Odding confirms that the museum had to pay again, but did not say how much additional money it took to close the deal with Dickinson. Both sides give in. The agreement is made on the condition of confidentiality. I neither want nor can I violate that. “
2.5 million euros in relief
The amounts were already mentioned by Education, Culture and Science Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven in a letter to the House of Representatives Tuesday morning. You write that it is through the empire € 2.5 million paid in one-time aid To solve all problems related to the sale.
This includes additional funds required for the final sale, as well as legal costs that were incurred in connection with the transaction and the lawsuit that was filed on the matter.
Letter to the House of Representatives
The painting in question, The View of Hampstead Heath, is considered one of the finest works by English landscape painter John Constable. It is the first work of this famous artist in a Dutch museum. Its purchase was made possible in part by significant contributions from the Rembrandt Society, Mondrian Fund, and others.
Once the Rijksmuseum Twenthe opens again after relaxing in the aura scales, the painting will be shown to the public. The landscape, purchased from Tefaf in Maastricht, will be part of the exhibition after research, an overview of the paintings and artwork that the Rijksmuseum purchased in the past ten years or obtained through donations.
“These were very difficult years.”
After a battle that lasted 2.5 years, it was finally time. A view of Hampstead Heath, A masterpiece by English landscape painter John Constable, is definitely from the Rijksm Twenthey Museum. This was preceded by a long battle with art dealer Simon Dickinson over the disappearance of millions from the purchase price. Now there is a settlement. “These were incredibly difficult years.”
Sometimes he himself just can’t believe it yet. Last week, during a short break in Friesland, director Arnood Uding really realized for the first time that it’s over. We finally reached an agreement the previous week with the agreement of all concerned parties. We have paid what remains to be paid in accordance with that agreement. More than two years of fighting and more than 4,000 emails were ultimately in vain. The painting will certainly remain in his chant. “
Yesterday, a week later, he returned to the museum and saw the painting in all its glory for the first time. Beside another purchase from the recent past is a Thomas Gainsborough landscape hanging A view of Hampstead Heath From 1824 in one of the museum’s large halls, waiting for the public to see the painting after its reopening. With 2.96 million euros paid by the Rijksmuseum and additional settlement costs, it is the largest purchase in the history of Enschede.
Already in warehouse since 2018
“We had to fight for it, but it was worth it. Of course I have seen the painting before. Since the purchase in 2018, it has been here in the warehouse. But from the moment it became clear that the cyber criminals ran away with the purchase amount, I am no longer In the warehouse anymore. I could not stand the view of this painting, and it is one of the most beautiful paintings that he had ever made according to Constable (1776-1837) himself. “
The Rijksmuseum Twenthe and art dealer Simon Dickinson were agreed upon in close consultation and partly thanks to a one-time contribution from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The English owners also participated in the settlement. Odding is unwilling and is allowed to determine how much money is involved in the agreement. This is part of the settlement. All parties, including us, provided. It is important to prove that both parties are victims of a scam that has never happened before in the Dutch art world. “
Fake Hong Kong account
The fight between the two began when it became apparent that the Rijksmuseum Twenthe had diverted 2.6 million euros of the requested purchase of 2.96 million into a dummy Dickinson account in Hong Kong. Cybercriminals penetrated the mail traffic between the museum and Dickinson with a so-called “man-in-the-middle attack”. At the start of last year, a lawsuit was filed in London over fraud.
“We have always taken the position that we paid for the painting and it is ours. The fact that the judge rejected the original lawsuit for official reasons does not mention anything. The substantive verdict has yet to be followed. From that moment on, we did everything we could to win this legal battle. The mistake in the system was not from it. Our side, we still think so. “
In May last year, Dickinson for the first time expressed his willingness to compromise. The fact that the negotiations took so long was also a setback for Odding. “For a long time I was hoping to get out quickly. That turned out to be more complicated. Numerous video calls needed to be made to get out. That was very exciting sometimes, but it’s a blessing to both parties that we are out.”
The fault was not in the system on our part, and we still find it
They are not villains, but real criminals
The fact that the painting is now in the museum is primarily a great relief. “Of course I also look at myself critically, but I still say: What happened to us is so complex and goes so far beyond normal online fraud that I really don’t know how we should have done it differently. Nor are we talking about bad boys here. It’s about criminals who, somewhere on the ground in a tower block, do nothing more than look for opportunities to hack financial transactions. “
The painting is believed to be equally beautiful. An asset to the museum and unique to the Netherlands. This is the only policeman in the Netherlands. Look at those colors, deep in this scene. No painting in our collection has the same depth as this timepiece. We’ll soon forget how we got it right here. What matters is that it is finally hanging here. In his hymn. “
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