With more than 11,000 members, the Rembrandt Society is one of the leading art patrons in the Netherlands. Their main goal is to enable Dutch museums to purchase pieces of art that are an important part of the Dutch cultural heritage.
In 2014, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science began working on a new law (the 'Erfgoedwet') that aims to protect all kinds of national treasures. The Rembrandt Society felt the draft law did not provide adequate guidance on the conditions under which museums could sell art to a private or foreign collection. They requested pro bono assistance from Stibbe, which we provided because we feel that our cultural heritage is the foundation of Dutch society.
Stibbe prepared an advice that contained building blocks for the Rembrandt Society's vision of the Erfgoedwet, designed to adequately safeguard Dutch cultural heritage. The Rembrandt Society printed and distributed the advice among its members, Parliament and government representatives. This generated substantial discussion in the Dutch art world and prompted the government to ask for Stibbe's advice on the draft law. At the time this report was published, the law had not yet been finalized.