DORDRECHT - A confused 61-year-old man from Papendrecht with right-wing extremist ideas this morning worked with a knife ten paintings in the Dordrechts Museum. How big the damage to the paintings is not yet clear, but it certainly runs into millions.

The drama took place in minutes. The man got out almost quarrel at checkout, because he wanted a discount on the admission price. After he had paid the full amount, He walked to the paintings. In one of the rooms he took a Stanley knife from his pocket. Then he cut a few works to shreds.

Only after his devastating action was security at the cameras in the museum that there was something strange going on. When was the 61-year-old man already left. An employee tried the man even against keep at the checkout, but he managed to pull away. A few hours later he reported to the police in Papendrecht.

Museum director De Groot called today's events in NRC Handelsblad an "unimaginable catastrophe" and "a drama that compare do not know'. De Groot says that an attack on this scale on artworks Netherlands has not occurred previously. The paintings are insured.


In the police the 61-year-old Papendrechter made a full confession. According to the husband's action "an act of resistance ', after a previous dismissal. He was angry because "foreigners had taken his job '.

According to the man 'Netherlands squandered on foreigners "and therefore" we also do not need paintings'.

The Papendrechter is known to police. He was arrested again three years ago, when he stole eighty guilders a supermarket. Then he pointed to his meager social assistance, where he and his wife live on.

The man was fined fl. 150,- for theft, but he refused to pay. Then the police were graduated to his house to pick him up. A whole bunch of cops have then taken the wild opposing Papendrechter to the police.


The 61-year-old man today be released back. Because it involves destruction, where a maximum penalty of two years in state, the magistrate was forced to release the man again. He did get a ban to come back in the near museum.

"A ridiculous thing", showed spokesman W. the Pope the Dordrecht Museum to know the Free People and Wedding. "It angers us against Breast anyone who commits such an absurd act, shortly afterwards on the street runs without the existence of detention. The art is outlawed. "

It is unclear how it will be checked that the Papendchter is not near a museum. Meerdere musea, like the Vincent van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, have asked for a photo of the man, but have not received it. According to the police, this is not allowed in connection with the privacy of the suspect.

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The damage to the ten structures is huge. It is about ten old masters, especially students of Rembrandt. There are four paintings Nicolaas Maes, including the internationally renowned work "The Luistervink '. There are also two works by Ferdinand Bol, two of Jacobus Levecq, one of Albert Cuyp and one of Jan Victors. The Most pieces were loaned to the museum Dordrecht.

From some works are complete sliced. curator Jos Deuss told to Het Vrije Volk that he barely could contain.

"It was much, much worse than I had imagined first. In the past it happened often that paintings were deliberately damaged, but this is out of all proportion. "

(If Deuss, Het Vrije Volk, 30-03-1989)

Two of the works were badly damaged recently by Deuss restored.

His colleague Leo Marchand was taken aback. "The is a piece of my career, work of years ", he says in The Open People. "I'm very difficult with this."

"The fabrics had a terrible oplazer, compared with someone who has survived a heart attack. "

(Leo Marchard, Het Vrije Volk, 30-03-1989)

How serious it also may look, the damage recoverable as both men. But there's an awful lot of time and money to sit.

As a blessing in disguise, the Papendrechter a Stanley knife used. Marchand in Het Vrije Volk: "As a result, the edges of the rupture, the cracks so basically, pretty sharp. The result is that fewer paint particles are lost than if a blunter knife was used. What that regards the havoc, on the face of at least, limited. "


According to museum director De Groot security not failed the museum. A guard walked around the halls the museum.

Against the Volkskrant said De Groot that always looks to security.

"But these cases do you dislike against. It is a museum, which is a public building and there are always quiet moments. yet I am not prepared to put everything behind perspex road, because then you can start selling as well diaplaatsjes and shut the rest of the museum. "

(Director J. de Groot of the Dordrecht Museum, Volkskrant, 30-03-1989)

Hoe ging het verder?

It took another year before the Papendrechter Judge was to appear. Most of the paintings were then not yet restored. Only the portrait of Jacob de Witt was almost ready.

The expectation was that it then would take one and a half years before the whole job was completed restoration. The cost for the entire job was around the million and was largely covered by insurance. The rest of the money was paid by sponsors.

During the trial showed that Papendrechter earlier also had threatened to paintings in Rotterdam's Museum Boymans van Beuningen to destroy. That the man had written in a letter, which was sent to the public Prosecutor (IF).

The man from Papendrecht himself was not at the trial present. He was angry that it had taken a long time for a year before his case had. Here again he referred to immigrants, which according to him always in short after their crime "were in court. Regretted his actions he had absolutely not, according to his lawyer Peeters.

That it had taken so long before his case to court came, also was the man from Papendrecht debt. After his arrest had magistrate determined that he should undergo testing psychiatric, but he did not. That had eventually imposed compulsively.

According to experts, the likelihood of a recurrence present. But while psychiatrists said that no prison solution would be for the man.

Punishment there eventually came. Justice demanded twelve months in jail (half of which conditionally). The judge came in at six months in jail, half of which conditionally. He had to leave treating in the RIAGG.

Meanwhile, the Dordrecht Museum was working security sharpen. One of the measures was bulletproof glass.


Het Vrije Volk - 30-03-1989 – Disaster art in museum Dordt

NRC Handelsblad - 30-03-1989 – Man with knife destroys ten old masters Dordrechts museum

De Volkskrant - 30-03-1989 – Unemployed man puts knife in ten old masters

THE TELEGRAPH - 30-03-1989 – Unemployed destroys with knife 10 old masters

FREE PEOPLE - 31-03-1989 – "Making more money for security of the museums'

WEDDING - 31-03-1989 – Art Destroyer free

FREE PEOPLE - 08-02-1990 – Destroyer quicker to court then restored paintings

FREE PEOPLE - 09-02-1990 – Art Destroyer threatened first Boymans

LEEUWARDER COURANT - 23-02-1990 – Prison for destroying paintings

Author: Dave Datema

published: 28-03-1989

story number: 90

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