Grave monument to Piet Hein damaged by salt, large-scale restoration required

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The tomb of navigator Piet Hein has been badly damaged. Salt has soaked into the natural stone monument in the Oude Kerk in Delft, discolouring the stone. There are also cracks in it.

To restore the monument, a large-scale renovation is needed, writes Omroep West. The monument must be dismantled and placed in a bath with a special liquid.

“As a result, the salt is pulled out,” explains church director Nyncke Graafland-van den Berg. “It is unclear how long that will take. It could take a month or half a year. We think the monument could be gone for a year.”

The tomb has been in the church since 1638 and has been repaired several times for the same damage. New research now shows that the salt from outside the church penetrates into the monument.

After the restorations, the monument was always put back in the same place, so the problem kept coming back. “The cause of the problem has never been solved. If we replace it later, something will come between the outer wall and the monument,” says Graafland-van den Berg. That should fix the problem.

The church has received a subsidy of 380,000 euros from the province of South Holland for the renovation. The monument can be seen until the beginning of next year, after which the renovation will only start.

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