Art has traditionally been transported in custom-made wooden boxes that are used only once. In the eight-minute documentary The Story of Turtle, Hizkia van Kralingen, director and owner of the art transport company of the same name, from The Hague, explains the how and why of his invention for sustainable art transport, which has been in use since 1994: the Turtle – a safe, innovative and reusable solution for the transport of valuable artworks. His many years of surfing led him to think about how strong surfboards are, which inspired him to develop a transport crate that can withstand impact and the idea continued to develop. Since the production and extensive testing of the Turtle, artworks by Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt have now been safely traveling the world in a Turtle for 25 years.
Hizkia van Kralingen: “Oeke Hoogendijk is a phenomenon in the art world. We met for the first time in 2014, worked together in 2015 and got in touch again when she made ‘My Rembrandt’. The work behind the scenes of an exhibition, with the packaging and transport of art, aroused her interest and her enthusiasm for the Turtle has now created this gem of a mini-doc.”
In order to show art to the world, the art has to travel. In the early nineties, the demand from the Kunstmuseum Den Haag (formerly Gemeentemuseum Den Haag) was the reason for developing the Turtle. “Most important is the safe transport of masterpieces around the world,” says Hizkia van Kralingen. The mini-doc shows, among other things, a painting by Rembrandt being transported in a Turtle from the Duke of Buccleuch’s castle in Scotland to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, to be exhibited at the Rembrandt-Velázquez exhibition which opened in October 2019. The exhibition was opened by King Willem-Alexander and the King of Spain.