Dutch hope to buy Rembrandt portraits for 160 million euros

General Director of Rijksmuseum Wim Pijbes poses in Amsterdam April 4, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
General Director of Rijksmuseum Wim Pijbes poses in Amsterdam April 4, 2013.

Reuters/Michael Kooren

The national Rijksmuseum gallery in Amsterdam is close to finalizing a 160 million euro deal to purchase two portraits by the Dutch master Rembrandt from the French Rothschild family, museum director Wim Pijbes said on Monday.

The portraits, which date back to 1634, depict trader Marten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit and were painted for their wedding.

The artworks were bought by Baron Gustave de Rothschild in 1877 and have been in France since then.

Pijbes told Dutch radio broadcaster BNR that the portraits were valued at 160 million euros ($185 million), calling the purchase a “realistic dream”. He said the museum was in talks with financiers.

More than 2.4 million visitors flocked to the Rijksmuseum in 2014 to view its collection, which also includes Rembrandt’s most famous work, “The Nightwatch.”

In July, the Rijksmuseum obtained a sixteenth century archers’ collar – a piece of decorated silver awarded to the winner of an annual archery contest. The Rothschild family had sold it to a private buyer in Paris, who donated it to the museum.

($1 = 0.8656 euros)

(Reporting By Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Anthony Deutsch and Dominic Evans)

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