What once was a 19th century church, Elleboogkerk, and had for the last several years been the home of the Armando Museum caught fire on Monday, October 22, 2007. The blaze rapidy engulfed the building completely destroying it. Two buildings nearby were also burned to the ground. One was a day care center for mentally disabled persons. Many residents from houses near the church were evacuated and some will not be able to return for more than a week while work is being done in the area and inspections are completed. Fortunately no deaths or injuries have been reported.
The museum housed a permanent collection of the Dutch Artist, Armando, including paintings and a sculpture by him. It also served as a documentation center for his life and work. In addition, many pieces of artwork, both modern and classical, were displayed on loan from other museums and collections. All have been totally destroyed and the value is estimated to be in the millions of euros. So far the cause of the fire has not been determined. The building has been undergoing repairs, as you'll see in the photos below showing the scaffolding. The investigators are looking into the possibilty that the fire resulted from some of the work being done.
A dear friend of mine, Shirley, lives quite close to the area of the fire and was able to take very good pictures during the fire and the aftermath. She has been very kind to allow me to show you her photos in a gallery below. Fortunately she was far enough away that she was not evacuated but did have to put up with the smoke as well as a firetruck sitting outside of her door through the night with it's pumps running to pump water from the canal onto the fire and embers.
Today, Oct. 24, 2007, they have dismantled the burned out tower that was threatening to fall on buildings below. Images of this work is also included in the photo gallery. It is a sad day seeing this beautiful example of early architecture disappear.
Thank you, Shirley, for allowing me to share your photos.