The special ‘guest’ at the Medemblik New Year’s reception is stolen King Radboud

A special ‘guest’ was present at the New Year’s reception of the municipality of Medenblik this evening. Dozens of visitors enjoyed a painting of King Radboud. Why is that special? The painting was stolen from the former town hall of Medemblik in early September. The work is now back for viewing, although it is not yet known where it will ultimately hang.

Peter Swart and Mark Raat conducted research into Radboud – Photo: Michael van der Putten/NH Media

“I was really devastated,” says heritage councilor Jeroen Broeders, who can now laugh again. “I was raised Catholic, but I cursed when I heard that the six paintings, and in particular that of King Radboud, had been stolen.”

Legend of King Radboud

It is a portrait of King Radboud, it is not known who painted it. The work cannot be called truly beautiful, but it has great emotional value for Medemblik.

In the eighth century AD, Radboud was ruler of West Friesland, among other things. At the end of the seventeenth century, that king was adopted by Medenblik to give the city more cachet and to distinguish it from other surrounding cities.

“You can call this painting city marketing of that time”

Mark Raat, researcher at Koning Radboud

“They then used King Radboud to give Medemblik more shine,” explains historian Mark Raat, who has done research into the king. “You can call that city marketing of that time. There is also a legend that Radboud had his residence in the city, but that has never been proven.”


After the paintings were closed, councilor Jeroen Broeders received a special message in early October. “I heard that the works had been returned to art detective Arthur Brand. He said that the works were brought back by someone in a van. That was really amazing.”

Who was King Radboud?

King Radboud was probably born in 670. As king of Friesland, he ruled over a coastal strip that ran from Bremen in Germany to just below Zeeland. There is no historical evidence that he had a residence in Medenblik, but it is known that this is the oldest city in West Friesland.

At the New Year’s reception in the De Vang cultural center, the painting of King Radboud attracts quite a lot of attention. One of them is Heleen Keur who is happy that the painting has been returned to its rightful owner.

Sadness in Medemblik

Els van de Bosch says she is extremely grateful that the work is back. “It has great emotional value and without a painting I and all of Medemblik are sad.”

Text continues below the photo.

Painting of King Radboud – Photo: Michael van der Putten/NH Media

She has an idea where the painting should be displayed. “It should hang in the hall of the town hall and should be hung as securely as the Mona Lisa.” Laughing: “If we can afford it.”

Back to his castle?

The painting needs to be restored (actually this had to be done before the theft). After that, it is not yet known where the work will hang, although councilor Jeroen Broeders does have a suggestion. “We still have to find a permanent and safe place for it. But it would be nice if it were to hang in the Radboud castle, here in Medenblik. But they recently suffered from flooding there. So that is still highly uncertain.”

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