A massive fire in the centre of Amersfoort has totally destroyed the Armando museum. The fire started around 1.30pm on Monday afternoon in the tower of the 19th century Elleboog church where the museum is located.
Works on loan for an exhibition by Albrecht Dürer, Hercules Segers, Jacob van Ruisdael, Anselm Kiefer and Richard Long have all been destroyed. No one was hurt.
People living on the Langegracht where the museum is located and on the nearby Breestraat were evacuated and spent the night in the town hall.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but workmen were working on the church roof when the fire broke out.
The museum is the permanent home for the work of Armando, one of the Netherlands most important post-Second World War artists. The 78-year old artist told the press that the fire was a disaster.
‘I’m not thinking so much about my own work. A number of the works on loan are irreplaceable,’ he said. Media reports put the insurance value of the destroyed art works at €3m, but the precise cost of the damage is not yet known.
The fire was brought under control around midnight but a council spokesperson said there is a danger that the church tower may collapse later today. An investigation has been started into the cause of the blaze.