Just a few days into 2021, the Crown Fine Art team were straight back to work with our latest project for the Dutch National Bank (DNB). The DNB are responsible for safeguarding the financial markets in the Netherlands and have amassed an impressive art collection over the years. Last year, the facility that housed its collection began extensive long-term renovations, requiring the artworks to be safely transported elsewhere while the project completes. Crown was chosen to undertake the project and developed a strong relationship with the DNB in this time.
We kicked off the year transporting La Demeure Humaine, Ossip Zadkine’s three-ton bronze statue, from the main DNB office in the center of Amsterdam to an alternative location. It was moved to make room for the construction site and will be installed at the new entrance once the building is finished.
Our approach was rigorous and thorough. In a meeting with the Terrain Manager and Collection Manager, we provided a detailed explanation of the move and all the steps we would take. Afterwards, we carried out a site visit together with an expert from our partner crane company to talk through the details and work out the logistics of the move.
On the day of the move itself, Project Manager, Gudo Nauta and Paul Nies, Special Projects Expert, went on site to pre-pack the sculpture and ensure it was protected before being craned. Once the statue was carefully packaged, the crane company came on site with two trucks. The sculpture was then fitted with the lifting straps, hoisted up and moved vertically. The second crane came in to lift the bottom part and, in tandem with the first crane, laid it flat on the truck. Our biggest challenge came when tilting the sculpture horizontally as we had to diligently ensure the sculpture was secure and stable, so no exceeding tension would appear. The sculpture was then securely fixed with straps to the truck and ready to go!
The sculpture was five meters high and four meters wide. Because of the width, we needed a special permit to transport it through the city of Amsterdam. Two cars were also required to escort the truck to its alternative location.
The sculpture was moved smoothly and safely within the project timelines. We made sure to clearly and consistently communicate progress as well as risks with the client, and ensure they felt supported throughout the process.
A representative of the DNB stated: “We really enjoyed working with the professionals of Crown Fine Art and the expertise of the crane company.” We were very pleased to be able to provide a full-service solution for the transportation of this iconic sculpture and look forward to working with the DNB team in the future.