RNW Press Review, Friday 25 April 2008

25th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

25 April 2008

Amsterdam loses abstract Russian art

Abstract Russian art brings a splash of colour to today's papers with news that the City of Amsterdam is to return five priceless works of art to the heirs of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, a settlement reached after years of legal wrangling.

Amsterdam bought the collection from a German architect 50 years ago, but the Malevich heirs have always maintained that the seller was not the rightful owner.

De Telegraaf's front page insists that "the settlement is a huge loss for the Stedelijk", Amsterdam's premier modern art museum.

But the Stedelijk seemed to be putting a brave face. It says the two sides continue to disagree but have resolved their conflict "out of respect for each other's position".

Trouw quotes Amsterdam's mayor Job Cohen as saying "we are not continuing the discussion about who is right".

However, de Volkskrant reckons that "the prospect of years of legal battles contributed to Amsterdam all of a sudden being able to reach a settlement after years of failing to do so".

The paper adds that by fighting the claim "Amsterdam has spent one million euros in legal costs so far and it could have ended up being much more".

The Stedelijk Museum's Malevich collection consisted of 68 works in total, 29 of them paintings. The paintings that are returned to the heirs have an estimated value of at least EUR 80 million. The rest of the collection will remain in Amsterdam.

"It is still a nice ensemble," museum director Gijs van Tuyl insists.

Schools say no to graduating with a bang
AD reports on some alarming excesses affecting an age-old tradition in Dutch secondary schools.

Students sitting for their final exams have always pulled elaborate practical jokes to mark the end of their stint as obedient pupils. But it seems the tomfoolery is getting out of hand and the school authorities are no longer looking on affectionately.

"Fun and frolics?" asks the paper, "Not when there's EUR 14,500 worth of damages!" The report goes on: "The days of chucking a few water balloons are over. Now breaking windows ... alcohol abuse and mistreating teachers are more the order of the day."

One rector explains: "It's deteriorating more and more into vandalism. We've now stated clearly that we won't tolerate these kinds of jokes anymore." The pupils who painted part of the school pink last year - and cost the school EUR 1,350 - had to pay it all back and were banned from their own graduation ceremony.

The kids themselves are not amused. "I've been looking forward to this for five years and now we're not allowed to do anything!" fumes one.

While another adds "I've spent four years putting up with eggs, water and goodness knows what else being chucked at me. Now it's my turn and there's no fun to be had!"

[Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica]

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