March 11, 2018

Dutch Middle Age altarpieces found in Norway

Filed under: Art,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 5:49 pm


Up until recently, altarpieces from the Middle Ages found in churches along the coast of Norway have been called Lübeck altarpieces, as experts assumed they were imported to Norway by the Hanseatics from Lübeck, Germany.

After analysing the altarpieces using advanced technical equipment such as an infrared camera, UV camera and electron microscope, research by Kristin Kausland of the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo (the only person to have a Ph”D. in conservation from a Norwegian university) has shown that major parts of these pieces were in fact made in Norway and not in Northern Germany. Paint fragments as well as gilding, type of wood, hinges and type of paint are some of the elements have helped reveal where an altarpiece was made.

The biggest surprise is that instead of figuring out if the altarpieces came from Norway or Germany, it turns out a lot of them were made in the Netherlands. In fact, 10 of the 60 altarpieces Kausland studied were made here, which is a big deal since according to her, almost all the altarpieces in the Netherlands were lost during the Protestant Reformation when the decision was taken to destroy church decorations. There’s also talk of a possible exhibition in the Netherlands at some stage to see what the fuss is all about.

(Link and image of a Dutch altarpiece from Western Norway:

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January 9, 2012

Court forces paedophile to move to Christian Internet provider

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 8:26 am

Last November the Zutphen court told a man to relocate to a Protestant Internet access provider (verdict, Dutch) as part of his punishment. The man had acquired a collection of more than 50,000 images and videos containing child pornography.

The public prosecutor had asked to give the man a suspended prison sentence of twelve months, to force the man to switch to Dutch Reformed provider Kliksafe, which provides censored Internet access, 240 hours of community service, and a treatment for ‘cannabis addiction’, whatever that is supposed to mean. The defense went largely along with this.

The court saw as a mitigating circumstance that the man had reported himself, and that it then took the Public Prosecution Service two years to act.

The non-profit foundation that owns Kliksafe writes about itself:

The basis of the foundation is God’s word, as is recorded in the Belgic Confession in Articles 2 through 7. It affirms completely and unconditionally the Three Forms of Unity as they were determined in the National Synod, held in Dordrecht in the years 1618 and 1619. It therefore declares the absolute power of God’s Word over all of life’s areas, including the use of media.

The filter criteria of Kliksafe are amongst others:

  • Sites that proselytize for non-Christian faiths
  • Sites that contain depictions of God
  • Sites that promote the desecration of Sabbath
  • Sites that promote unbiblical forms of cohabitation.

None of the parties in the court case seem to have seen anything untoward in sentencing a sex offender to start using the services of a provider allied to a religious denomination, even though the Abrahamic religions have a really dismal track record when it comes to healthy sexuality. The three judges seem to have seriously dropped the ball there.


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February 23, 2009

ATM use on Sunday banned

Filed under: Religion,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:57 pm
Rabobank ATM

The War on fun and practicality strikes again — and punishes old people. In the wee town of Scherpenisse, Zeeland, the ATM shuts down on Saturday night because the owner of the building is a Reformed Protestant. This means that Sunday is the day of the Lord and “taking out money is absurd.” The Rabobank, who operates the ATM, considers its machines open for business seven days a week.

The talk of the town is whether the owner can actually keep shutting the ATM down on Sunday, which makes life harder for old people.

(Link:, Photo:

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September 24, 2007

Defaced religious art on display in Amsterdam

Filed under: Art,Religion by Branko Collin @ 7:17 pm
Illustration: fragments of the Gregorsmesse painting.

Photos of defaced Catholic icons are on display at the Stedelijk Museum (Municipal Museum) in Amsterdam until November 11. They cover the time of the Protestant Reformation in Europe during the 16th century, when part of taking back the church by the people consisted of doing away with what the people considered false doctrines and malpractices, as Wikipedia calls it.

The exhibit by Gert Jan Kocken explores the choices people made in their haste of getting rid of false icons. For instance, in a painting called Gregorsmesse, which shows local dignitaries together with Jesus Christ, the faces of everyone except that of Jesus have been defaced, suggesting that either the new protestants were still a bit afraid to damage the portrait of their most important hero, or that the reformation was as much a protest against church hierarchy as it was against church malpractices.

The iconoclastic purges of the Reformation (the Beeldenstorm, attack on images) were an important step towards the revolution and ultimately independence of the Netherlands, because the Catholic Spanish ruler tried to stamp out such practices.

(Via Sudsandsoda (Dutch).)

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