Last week the St. Petersburg concert pianist Andrej Hoteev flew in from Hamburg, his current residence, to be interviewed and filmed about his friendship with Ben Joppe (1915-2007), artist and private secretary of the orchestra conductor Bernard Haitink, and about all the historical events leading to this friendship. It was a truly inspirational meeting, in romantic surroundings, with an excellent team of professionals: artist Guido Pera, Ben's last close friend; Jeroen Hommels, restorer and dealer of Steinway pianos; Robert van Voren, expert in Russian mental healthcare and professor in Sovietology and Oral History in Kaunas (Lithuania) and Tbilisi (Georgia); and Vincent Nijman and Fuji Rademaker, a swell camera team. We also made a history tour to Ben Joppe's house, still intact in Zeeland, where Andrej could see the painting he first saw during his visit to Ben's apartment in the 1990's, above the Steendrukkerij Amsterdam. Which is where I met Ben, during my job as the gallery assistant. History can move in strange circles.
Dr. Marty Bax, art historian, international expert on the work of Piet Mondrian, and on Modern Art & Western Esotericism; Expert provenance researcher on the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) in the Netherlands for the Claims Conference-World Jewish Restitution Organization Looted Art and Cultural Property Initiative
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