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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

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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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