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Battle for ownership of Dutch masterpiece painting intensifies
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08:52, April 23, 2009

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The Amsterdam-based ABN-Amro bank has laid claim to the art collection of Dutch multimillionaire Louis Reijtenbagh, in response to a similar move by U.S. financial services firm JP Morgan Chase, Radio Netherlands reported Wednesday.

Reijtenbagh borrowed money from both financial institutions using his art collection as collateral.

One of the most important works in his collection was The Bend in the Herengracht. The painting by Gerrit Berckheyde, dating from around 1672, shows a famous Amsterdam canal not long after its construction.

Despite having borrowed money against the painting, Reijtenbagh sold it last year to the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of art in Amsterdam.

JP Morgan Chase says Reijtenbagh gave the painting to the bank in 2006 as collateral for a loan, and the firm is claiming the painting because he is behind on loan repayments. Documents from a New York court show the Dutch investor has a 33-million-dollar debt with the firm.

ABN Amro is now asking a court to rule on who has first claim on the famous canvas.

The Rijksmuseum's Director of Collections Taco Dibbits described the painting as a "masterpiece of national importance." It appears that the museum and the two banks will have to battle for the ownership of the 17th century painting.

The museum is investigating the matter in conjunction with the Dutch Culture Ministry. The painting is currently in the United States, on loan to the Washington National Gallery until May 3. Enditem

BRUSSELS, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The Amsterdam-based ABN-Amro bank has laid claim to the art collection of Dutch multimillionaire Louis Reijtenbagh, in response to a similar move by U.S. financial services firm JP Morgan Chase, Radio Netherlandsreported Wednesday.

Reijtenbagh borrowed money from both financial institutions using his art collection as collateral.

One of the most important works in his collection was The Bend in the Herengracht. The painting by Gerrit Berckheyde, dating fromaround 1672, shows a famous Amsterdam canal not long after its construction.

Despite having borrowed money against the painting, Reijtenbaghsold it last year to the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of art in Amsterdam.

JP Morgan Chase says Reijtenbagh gave the painting to the bank in 2006 as collateral for a loan, and the firm is claiming the painting because he is behind on loan repayments. Documents from aNew York court show the Dutch investor has a 33-million-dollar debt with the firm.

ABN Amro is now asking a court to rule on who has first claim on the famous canvas.

The Rijksmuseum's Director of Collections Taco Dibbits described the painting as a "masterpiece of national importance." It appears that the museum and the two banks will have to battle for the ownership of the 17th century painting.

The museum is investigating the matter in conjunction with the Dutch Culture Ministry. The painting is currently in the United States, on loan to the Washington National Gallery until May 3.

Source:Xinhua



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