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Newsletter JULY 2023

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We would like to draw your attention to the first 4 of 6 publications in the ‘Paintings Conservation Series’ about the conservation of paintings on canvas and panel. The publications are made for professional restorers who want to stay informed about the current knowledge and about the application of new techniques that are used in their field. The content is intended as a snapshot of up-to-date developments and should not replace academic training in the field of painting conservation.

Conservation practice has developed at an astounding pace. This knowledge is often concentrated at a few large institutions with the capabilities to take major steps in the development and application of new methods. For those not employed at large institutions, accessing such knowledge can be difficult. These brochures are designed to bridge this gap and they can also help conservators seeking to refresh and update their knowledge.The need for this reference material became apparent during a series of masterclasses and conferences organized by the Foundation for Cultural Inventory (SCI) in India, the Russian Federation and elsewhere, in association with SRAL – The Conservation Institute, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Dutch embassies in the partner countries. These gatherings, centring on mutual exchange and deepening knowledge in relation to the local contexts, were held under the auspices of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme.







Newsletter December 2022

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Jubilee SCI: Lecture KOG Rijksmuseum 19-12-2022

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of SCI, a lecture will be organized on Monday evening, December 19th, 2022 at the Royal Antiquarian Society (KOG) in the auditorium of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The lecture will be held in Dutch.

The lecture will include contributions from:

  • Drs. Christiaan Vogelaar, board member of SCI and former curator of the old art department of Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden about the role of collectors and museums.
  • Bernard Vermet, art historian associated with SCI, about the image of the church interior of St. Bavo in Haarlem, painted on an inner door in the Tsar Peter house in St. Petersburg.
  • Lia Gorter, director of SCI, who explains the activities of the past 25 years on the basis of 25 paintings from 25 museums from India, Cuba, Serbia, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. These examples are included in the book ‘Disclosing Dutch and Flemish Paintings Abroad’ to be published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary.


Interested parties are cordially invited to attend the meeting.
You can register with us to receive an invitation for this. Only with this invitation can one attend the lecture.

Request invitation via email:

Monday 19-12-2022

20.00, doors open at 19.30

KOG, Auditorium Rijksmuseum

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam


Newsletter September 2022

By News
Touria Melani and Lia Gorter
Photo: Janiek Dam

Festive anniversary SCI:

Important award for Lia Gorter


On Sunday, August 28th, 2022, SCI celebrated its 25th anniversary with a festive gathering in the Hermitage at the Amstel. A varied program with various speakers and presentations:

  • Art historian Bernard Vermet talked about his research on the depiction of a Dutch church interior on a door of the Tsar Peter House in St. Petersburg.
  • Publicist and art historian Gary Schwartz reported on the founding and early years of CODART in which the director and founder of SCI, Lia Gorter, was closely involved.
  • Klaas Jan van den Berg – professor of Conservation and Restoration at the UvA – presented the first two of six English brochures for restorers and conservators: ‘Dirt and Dirt Removal and Varnish Removal’. An initiative of SCI that is now being realised in collaboration with the National Office for Cultural Heritage (RCE) and the SRAL, the Conservation Institute in Maastricht.
  • Lia Gorter gave a presentation about the activities of SCI over the past 25 years and informed the guests about the English book that will be published in December 2022, in honour of SCI’s anniversary: ​​’Disclosing Dutch and Flemish Paintings Abroad, 25 years of research, digitizing and conservation ‘.


At the end of the afternoon, deputy mayor and alderman of Art & Culture, Touria Meliani, presented the Frans Bannick Cocq Penning to Lia Gorter on behalf of the Amsterdam Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Lia Gorter received this award for her committed service to SCI.


See also the message on the website of CODART:

Lia Gorter Receives a Medal from the City of Amsterdam on the Occasion of SCI’s 25th Anniversary


Newsletter February 2022

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The Foundation for Cultural Inventory is shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as are many colleagues in Russia.

They have issued a statement expressing their disgust at the war and demanding to end the war.

You can sign this petition:


Artists and cultural workers across Russia sign an open anti-war letter.

We, artists, curators, architects, critics, art historians, art managers – representatives of culture and art of the Russian Federation – initiated and sign this open letter, which we consider insufficient, but necessary action on the path to peace between Russia and Ukraine.

On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation launched a sudden, aggressive, and open military offensive throughout Ukraine. The reason for it was declared “protection of the inhabitants of the DPR and LPR”, while military operations are carried out throughout Ukraine and in its large cities: Kyiv, Lvov, Kharkov, Odessa, and others. Among the residents of these cities are many our relatives, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. We demand that this war with Ukraine, a sovereign and independent state, which has been going on since 2014, be stopped and that negotiations be started with it on a respectful and equal footing.

The war in Ukraine is a terrible tragedy for both Ukrainians and Russians. It entails huge human losses, jeopardizes the economy and security, and will lead our country to complete international isolation. At the same time, it is absolutely meaningless – any enforcement of peace through violence is absurd. The pretext under which the deployment of the “special operation” took place was entirely constructed by representatives of the Russian authorities, and we oppose this war being waged on our behalf.

Now, first, we are concerned about the fate of Ukrainians, their lives and safety!

However, on behalf of the professional community, it is also important for us to say that the further escalation of the war will result in irreparable consequences for workers in the arts and culture. This will take away our last opportunities to fully work, speak out, create projects, popularise, and develop culture, and take away the future. Everything that has been done culturally over the past 30 years is now at risk: all international ties will be severed, cultural private or state institutions will be mothballed, partnerships with other countries will be suspended. All this will destroy the already fragile economy of Russian culture and significantly reduce its significance both for Russian society and for the international community. It will be almost impossible to engage in culture and art in such conditions.

We, artists, curators, architects, critics, art critics, art managers – representatives of the culture and art of the Russian Federation – express our absolute solidarity with the people of Ukraine and say resolutely “NO TO WAR!”. We demand an immediate stop to all hostilities, the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine and the holding of peace talks.

You can sign the open letter using the link via Google Forms. Please do not sign the letter several times, the form is working properly. The full list of signatories will be updated here.Подписать открытое письмо вы можете по ссылке через гугл-формы. Пожалуйста, не подписывайте письмо несколько раз, форма работает исправно. Полный список подписавших будет дополняться здесь.

A general petition against the war in Ukraine is signed more than a million times:остановить-войну-с-украиной-2ce0a2d7-b957-4e23-981a-c67a26e2b0b7

Newsletter july

By News

SCI and Covid-19


Corona also influenced and slowed down our work. The festive presentation in Amsterdam of the renewed website has credit. The visit of two curators from the National Museum of Fine Arts in Minsk (Belarus) has been postponed to October. The Masterclass “The Preservation of Cultural Heritage” planned in Omsk (Siberia) has been postponed to the end of October. With reservation.




We regularly organize special activities such as a visit to Riga (Latvia), hosted by the director of the Museum Bourse and the Dutch Ambassador. In collaboration with the Mauritshuis, SCI organizes a viewing shortly after its opening on September 26, the special Vermeer exhibition Only with Vermeer – “The Most Beautiful Painting in the World” / View of Delft.




SCI’s qualified volunteers conduct art historical research independently of any government. SCI is dependent on sponsorship and subsidies per project. This means that the structural costs of our agency remain virtually uncovered. That is why we urgently need donations. You can use your donation to deduct gifts (ANBI and also as Cultural ANBI) and thus get an extra tax break. You can donate under the page “Friends”.

Friends in Riga

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From 25 to 27 January 2020, seven SCI Friends made a short trip to the Hanseatic city of Riga (Reval). The center of gravity of the Hanze, sometimes also called guild, was the cooperation between traders in the North and Baltic Sea, also called German Hanze, and dates from 1343. The trade consisted of metals, grain, hides, wool, wine and also Baltic wood. Wood that was used for ships, houses and for panels for paintings the Baltic oak.

In 2006, SCI documented the collection with 274 Dutch and Flemish masters in Riga. At the time it was called Museum of Foreign Art, and was located in the castle. After the very successful renovation of the building, the museum is now housed in the former fair: Art Museum Riga Bourse.

Sunday January 26 we were welcomed by director Daiga Upeniece in the presence of the Dutch Ambassador Govert Jan Bijl de Vroe. After a brief introduction about the history of the collection, the collectors; rich merchants, doctors, mayors. This can be seen in the auditorium. With just under a hundred paintings, the landscapes, seascapes and interiors, intimacy wins over the big gesture.

Want to become a Friend of SCI too? That is possible here!

Success: Jacob de Wit’s ceiling painting found in Russian collections!

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Pictured above: Jacob de Wit, Putti around an Altar, 1723. Oil on canvas, 84 x 181 cm. St Petersburg, The Scientific-Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, inv. no. ж-174.

At the request of Josephina de Fouw, curator of Dutch 18th-century painting in the Rijksmuseum, SCI made a call to all museums known to us in Russia and the former Soviet States to find out if they have paintings by Jacob de Wit and then to contact the curator of the Rijksmuseum. We are delighted that our call has worked and the Rijksmuseum has been able to help. Read more about it in their bulletin (for subscribers): ‘Aeneas and Callisto: Two Ceiling Paintings by Jacob de Wit Mixed Up’:…/resea…/the-rijksmuseum-bulletin

Jacob de Wit, Juno Asks Aeolus to Release the Winds, 1723. Oil on Canvas, 116,5 x 80 cm. Alupka (Crimea), Alupka Palace and ParkMuseum-Reserve, inv. no. ж-453.

Jacob de Wit, Venus Asks Jupiter to Protect HerSon Aeneas, 1723. Oil on canvas, 116 x 96 cm, signed and dated lower left: Wit 1723. Alupka (Crimea), Alupka Palace and Park Museum-Reserve, inv. no. ж-520.



Report 13 September: Tour for Friends in Museum De Lakenhal Leiden

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On Friday 13 September, Christiaan Vogelaar, curator of old art, gave a tour for Friends SCI in Museum De Lakenhal. With the ‘Rembrandt and the Golden Age’ exhibition, the museum celebrates the reopening of the building and shows the history of Leiden in a well-arranged and intimate way: the cloth industry, the relief of Leiden in 1574 and the collection of old masters with emphasis on Leiden fine painters from Leiden Rembrandt time.

The entrance with courtyard offers a view of parts of the original building. In the first room with the triptychs by Cornelisz Engelbrechts and Lucas van Leyden are already worth a visit.

The rooms with modern art also have a special cradle, stylistically a cross between De Stijl and Art-Deco.


The Friends of SCI were able to talk afterwards in the studio of artist Casper Faassen Marktsteeg 10 with a drink and a snack.

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