Ritman Library (BPH) petition

Tessel Bauduin
Tessel Bauduin 29 Comments
6,777 Signatures Goal: 10,000

Express your protest against the dissolution of theBibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (Ritman Library)


It is widely known that the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam, founded by J.R. Ritman, was in great danger in the 1990s, when the ING bank took possession of the collection and threatened to sell it. Fortunately, the Dutch government intervened: the BPH was put on the list of protected Dutch heritage, and the State eventually acquired over 40% of it. The books remained at the same physical location, integrated with the rest of the collection, and the government would eventually acquire all of it. As part of this process, there were great plans for further expansion. Largely due to the financial crisis and a change of government this was taking somewhat longer than originally anticipated, but nobody doubted that the library was safe.
Last week this turned out to be incorrect. An extremely valuable medieval manuscript owned by the BPH (The Grail of Rochefoucauld) was put on sale at Sotheby’s, and this triggered a reaction from the Friesland Bank, which took possession of the library, that had apparently been brought in as collateral, in order to get back a 15 million euro loan from mr Ritman. At present the BPH is closed, and intense negotiations are going on behind closed doors. It is impossible at this moment to predict the outcome, but there is no doubt that the situation is extremely serious. There is a very real possibility that the Friesland bank will try to sell at least the ca. 60% of the library that is still owned by mr Ritman, and nobody knows what implications this will have for the rest of the collection and the BPH as a whole, including its staff. The brand-new government of theNetherlands has announced a program of radical financial cuts in the culture section and elsewhere, which makes a renewed intervention from that side highly unlikely.

If the Ritman library would go down, this would mean an enormous blow to international scholarship in hermetic studies. The damage would be irreversible. By signing this petition you express your concern, and ask the Dutch government and the Friesland bank to do their utmost to ensure that the collection will be saved and will remain available for the international scholarly community.

Additionally, you can express your concern by means of a signed letter. The initiative for this petition comes from the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam (organizationally independent of the BPH, and not in any danger itself), so please send your letter to its director: Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Oude Turfmarkt 141-147, 1012 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email: w.j.hanegraaff [ at ] uva.nl

Links

See a list of important signees at: www.theritmanlibrarymustbepreserved.blogspot.com
  • Jutta Schäfer
    Jutta Schäfer Germany, Saarbr
    Sep 22, 2017
    Sep 22, 2017
    Such an important cultural heritage must be protected fur usselves and following generations.
  • EMILIO JOSE CHUAIRE
    Jun 22, 2017
    Jun 22, 2017
    salvaguarda del patrimonio cultural
  • Franc OShea
    Franc OShea United Kingdom, Brighton
    May 10, 2017
    May 10, 2017
    This library is worth more than money and should not be decimated and fall into private hands. This is a treasure not only of great importance to Europe but to the whole of the World.
    It is only greed that will dissolve this library and another great treasure will be lost to rich private collectors as the rest of the world continues in its ignorance.
    It will be a very very sad day if this library disappears.
  • Richard Green
    Richard Green United States, San Jose
    Mar 01, 2017
    Mar 01, 2017
    I will be happy to look after these books if necessary :)
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6777

Signatures

  • 2 weeks ago
    franco pezzini Italy
    2 weeks ago
  • 2 months ago
    Dieter Laurentius Ney Iceland
    2 months ago
  • 2 months ago
    Jutta Schäfer Germany
    2 months ago
  • 2 months ago
    Axel Voss Germany
    2 months ago
  • 5 months ago
    NORMA JECKELN France
    5 months ago
  • 5 months ago
    EMILIO JOSE CHUAIRE Argentina
    5 months ago
  • 5 months ago
    Dolores Argentina
    5 months ago
  • 6 months ago
    DIERENDONCK Quentin France
    6 months ago
  • 6 months ago
    Yauheni Belarus
    6 months ago
  • 6 months ago
    Franc OShea United Kingdom
    6 months ago
  • 7 months ago
    Paul Mullins United States
    7 months ago
  • 9 months ago
    Richard Green United States
    9 months ago
  • 9 months ago
    Peter de Bruijn Netherlands
    9 months ago
  • 12 months ago
    erwan goubely Germany
    12 months ago
  • 1 year ago
    leonard altmann France
    1 year ago
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