Behind the façade of 121 rue de Lille, in Paris's elegant seventh arrondissement, lie two worlds that are closely connected. On the street side, there is a hive of activity: here the Institut Néerlandais organises exhibitions, concerts, lectures, film shows, conferences and language courses centred on Dutch culture. If one crosses the courtyard at the rear between this house and the eighteenth-century Hôtel Turgot, it seems as if time has stood still. This is where the Frits Lugt Collection is housed under the watchful eye of the Fondation Custodia (guard in Latin).
The Fondation Custodia is in charge of the Frits Lugt Collection, the scholarly research relating to it, the publishing programme and the organisation of exhibitions. It also works in partnership with the Institut Néerlandais in Paris, which was founded in 1956 as the result of a joint initiative by Frits Lugt and the Dutch government.
The Fondation Custodia also gives moral and financial support to the Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut (Dutch Institute for Art History) in Florence and the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (Netherlandish Institute for Art History) in The Hague.
Ger Luijten, director of the Fondation Custodia, interviewed by Joeri Bleumer for TEFAF :