KLM Cargo Brings Saskia van Uylenburgh Back Home

Rembrandt’s masterpiece “Flora,” portraying his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh, is back in Amsterdam. The Dutch national carrier flew the famous Rembrandt painting together with other excellent works by Gerard Dou and Adriaen van Ostade from Saint Petersburg to Amsterdam.

On way to Amterdam’s Hermitage the masterpieces were under constant surveillance of guards dressed in 17th century clothing  -  courtesy KLM Cargo
On way to Amterdam’s Hermitage the masterpieces were under constant surveillance of guards dressed in 17th century clothing - courtesy KLM Cargo

The paintings, including Rembrandt’s “Young Woman with Earrings” will be part of the exhibition “Dutch Masters from the Hermitage. Treasures of the Tsars,” featuring 67 works by 51 different Dutch Golden Age artists from 7 October through 27 May 2018.
It was all set last Friday for the warm welcome of Saskia van Uylenburgh and other masterpieces by artists of the Dutch Golden Age at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Even the guards, accompanying and securing the valuable transport from Schiphol to the entrance of the Hermitage at Amstel 51 in downtown Amsterdam were dressed in befitting social standing clothes of the 17th century.

Preserving cultural heritage
A great day also for KLM Cargo that was entrusted with the transport of some of the masterpieces from Saint Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum to Amsterdam’s Hermitage. To safeguard the loan items bought by the Romanov tsar family centuries ago and protect the priceless and irreplaceable paintings from any damage on their journey from Russia to the Netherlands they were packed in special, custom-made crates, ensuring their arrival in perfect condition.
Comments Marcel de Nooijer, Executive VP KLM Cargo, while the works were received and unpacked by specialists of Amsterdam’s Hermitage: “KLM believes it is important to invest in preserving cultural heritage. This partnership with the Hermitage Amsterdam is one example of this kind of investment. We are proud that KLM Cargo has been entrusted with the transportation of these works, ensuring that they will be temporarily on show in the Netherlands after more than 300 years.”

Rembrandt’s masterpiece “Flora” displaying his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh  -  source: State Hermitage St. Petersburg
Rembrandt’s masterpiece “Flora” displaying his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh - source: State Hermitage St. Petersburg

Air replaces sea transport
Whether single art objects, entire fossils, rare animals or minerals, KLM Cargo has made itself a name in transporting these kinds of special consignments. In 2016, the carrier brought the entire skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from the United States to the Netherlands, for an exhibition at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. And in April 2017, they flew two pandas from China to the Netherlands, where they found a new home at Ouwehands Dierenpark.
Cathelijne Broers, director of the Hermitage Amsterdam, recognized this skill and dedication, when welcoming the paintings: “Transporting this many Dutch masterpieces is a very complex operation. In the past, these works were transported by ship, but now they are coming by road and by air, subject to strict rules and heavy security, which KLM has a lot of experience with.”
Next June, Rembrandt’s “Flora” and the other works of the Dutch Golden Era have to be flown back to Saint Petersburg, presumably by KLM Cargo.

Heiner Siegmund

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