January 2012

"Girl With a Pearl Earring" to visit the USA

Vermeer’s masterpiece “Girl With a Pearl Earring” will be on display in three museums in the United States in 2013, along with 34 other masterpieces from the Dutch Royal Picture Gallery, the Mauritshuis.

The traveling exhibition “Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis,” will start in January 2013 at the De Young museum in San Francisco and then move to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. In October the show will be scaled down to 10 works and presented as “Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis” at the Frick Collection in New York City.

The Dutch Maurits House museum will undergo a renovation starting April 2013 and is sending 35 paintings on a two-year tour to the United States and Japan. The tour, a $28 million fundraiser for the renovation of the museum, will include paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Jacob van Ruisdael.

A repeat visitor to the United States

The highlight of the exhibition is the world-famous “Girl With a Pearl Earring”, painted around 1665. The painting became the subject of a best-selling novel in 1999 and in 2003 of a movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.

The painting appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1984 as part of a five-year traveling show during the Mauritshuis’s previous restoration. It was last seen in the United States in 1995 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in a 21-picture exhibition focused solely on Vermeer.

Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis:

- De Young Museum in San Francisco, January 26 to June 2, 2013
- High Museum of Art in Atlanta, June 22 to September 29, 2013
- the Frick Collection in New York City (10 paintings), October 22, 2013 to January 12, 2014.

New minister: "Proposal doesn't have priority"

Minister Liesbeth Spies was named Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations in December 2011.In what seems to be good news for Dutch citizens abroad a spokesperson for minister Spies said that sending the controversial dual-nationality law to the Dutch Parliament “currently does not have priority”. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports that minister Spies did not mention when she will submit the proposal for review to the Tweede Kamer, and said that she will determine the time-frame of this “herself” — apparently distancing herself from her predecessor Minister Donner who had earlier said that he would send the proposal before Christmas.

“A U-turn compared to last year”

Eelco Keij, spokesman and initiator of the protests again the proposal: “This means a U-turn compared to last year, and it seems that because of the public pressure the government is (temporarily) backing off. Needless to say, we remain alert, but for now it comes down to a ‘standstill victory’. The exceptions for dual nationality for Dutch people abroad remain unharmed, at least for now.”

The minister’s remarks come after significant publicity around the effects of the proposed laws on Dutch citizens abroad, including in The Economist and the Huffington Post. The Economist wrote: “By seeking to toughen its nationality laws, the Netherlands is bucking a global trend”. The online petition against the proposal currently has more than 20,000 signatures.

No formal decision to delay or postpone the proposal has been made, so it remains to be seen how things will ultimately play out. Says Keij: “we’ll keep monitoring”.

Minister Spies was named Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations after Mr. Donner was appointed to be the new Vice President of the Council of State in December 2011. The proposed law has as goal to limit dual citizenship for new Dutch citizens and would impact Dutch citizens abroad as well.

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