News of: Thursday, August 27 2009,

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam: gift USA to Dutch prime minister is not moon stone

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has discovered that one of its possessions, a moon stone, is not a moon stone after all.

The Dutch former prime minister Drees received the moon stone from the American ambassador in the Netherlands, Mr William Middendorf, in 1969.
Mr Middendorf says he can remember Mr Drees was very happy with the gift, but that the stone is fake was unknown to him. It had been given to him by the US State Department.

Willem Drees is one of the most famous Dutch Prime Ministers of the 20th century.
After Mr Drees died, his family asked the Rijksmuseum whether it would like to add the stone to its collection, which the Rijksmuseum accepted.

The Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam researched the stone, and quickly found out the stone is a piece of petrified wood.

Mr Middendorf says it will probably remain a mystery why the US would give a fake stone to a Dutch prime minister, as all people who could tell something about it, have died, according to him.

The Rijksmuseum will probably keep the stone in its collection, because of the remarkable story.