Monday, February 17, 2014

Anne Frank's Marbles On Display

"Marbles" are dominating historical headlines this week. Apart from George Clooney whining for Britain to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece, Anne Frank's recently discovered marbles (not statue-marbles, marbles-marbles) are being exhibited in the WWII exhibition 'The Second World War in 100 Objects' at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, Holland. 

Image source: The History Blog and The Independent

Before Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in 1942, she gave her non-Jewish neighbor bff, Toosje Kupers, her tin of marbles, tea set, book, and her cat, Moortje, to keep safe. Kupers, now 83 years old, said Anne was concerned for her marbles, and that she was "scared they might fall into the wrong hands."

After the war ended, Kupers offered them to Anne's father, Otto, the only surviving member of Anne's family after the Holocaust. Otto declined. The marbles have sat in Kupers' attic ever since and were  rediscovered during her recent move. She donated Anne's items to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The museum has displayed the book and tea set, but are presenting the marbles for the first time in the Kunsthal Museum exhibition that opened February 5th.

Fun/not so fun fact: The Kunsthal Museum made headlines in October 2012 when seven paintings (including two Monet's, a Picasso and a Gauguin) were stolen and again in July 2013 when the alleged thieves were arrested. A woman whose son confessed to playing a part in the theft, initially claimed that she had burned the paintings to protect her son. Investigators found pigments and nails of the correct age for the stolen paintings in her fireplace. The investigation in ongoing.

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