Peacetime loan of former war booty: Maritime masterpiece temporarily returned to England

AMSTERDAM.- This afternoon, the Rijksmuseum handed over a unique loan to the National Maritime Museum in London. After 345 years, the ‘stern carvings decoration’ of the flagship the Royal Charles has been returned to England. In June 1667, the wooden decoration (3m wide and 2m tall, weighing 750kg) was taken in triumph to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands by Dutch maritime hero Michiel de Ruyter. The piece will be one of the highlights of the Royal River. Power, Pageantry and the Thames exhibition opening on 27 April. HRH Willem Alexander, Prince of Orange, was present on the patrol vessel Holland of the Royal Netherlands Navy when the ‘stern carvings’ (the richly decorated stern of the ship) was hoisted on board. The Holland is the first vessel of the Holland class, a series of four patrol vessels in the Royal Netherlands Navy fleet. This afternoon, both the Prince of Orange and HRH