Break-in at the museum

Thieves made off with precious Chinese ceramics

Monday 13 February 2023 a burglary took place at Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics. In the process, eleven objects were removed from an installation in a temporary exhibition. The police were at the scene within five minutes, but were unable to apprehend anyone. During the escape, seven of the eleven objects fell and were badly damaged; a search is underway for the remaining four objects and the perpetrator(s). Police are investigating and have issued an appeal for witnesses. The museum will remain closed the following week due to the police investigation and further measuresThe Princessehof will reopen on 21 February 2023.

The objects were stolen from the Celebrate! exhibition on the museum’s first floor. The perpetrators seem to have had specific knowledge and struck in a targeted manner. The artworks were part of an installation featuring renowned Chinese ceramics.
The burglary follows an earlier unsuccessful attempt on Wednesday, 1 February. In response, the museum enhanced surveillance and security procedures together with security consultants and the police, and has been on high alert for suspicious behaviour. The police responded rapidly to the alarm early on Monday morning. The perpetrator or perpetrators are still at large.

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics is the only national museum in the Northern Netherlands. It is housed in an 18th-century city palace, which was also the birthplace of the world-famous graphic artist M.C. Escher. The museum tells current and relevant stories with its high-quality collection ranging from imperial porcelain from China, beautiful Art Nouveau ceramics and Delft Blue to work by modern and contemporary artists and designers. The collection has a number of absolute highlights, including the Chinese imperial porcelain, the Japanese Kakiemon figures and the collection of Dutch Art Nouveau. In addition to the permanent exhibition East and West, the museum also has an ever-changing programme of high-profile exhibitions, such as Made in Holland, In Motion, Sunken Treasures in previous years, and the current exhibition Celebrate! Based on twelve different celebrations, in this exhibition the Princessehof explores what, how and with whom we celebrate in the Netherlands. The exhibition features children’s celebrations, Lunar New Year, Carnival, Passover, student celebrations, birthdays, a selamatan, weddings, Eid al-Fitr (Sugar Festival), Ketikoti, Divali and Christmas.

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