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France and Netherlands to jointly buy rare Rembrandts

The Netherlands and France will together buy two rare Rembrandts for a total of €160m, the Dutch culture minister has announced, after the two countries defused a potential bidding war.

The 17th-century paintings, which belong to the Rothschild banking family and have rarely been seen in public, will alternate between the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris, Jet Bussemaker said in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

“We believe these two rare portraits should always be allowed to be admired together, alternately between the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre, so they are accessible to the broader public, both young and old,” she said, adding that the deal was cemented by Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, and the French president, François Hollande, at the United Nations this week.

The two full-length portraits of a young couple – Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit – were painted by the Dutch master to mark their wedding in 1634. Wrangling over the future of the paintings had threatened to sour relations between the two European allies.

Read more: France and Netherlands to jointly buy rare Rembrandts | Art and design | The Guardian

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