Peter van Dijk The preliminaries of the restoration of the Organ in the Der Aa-Kerk at Groningen
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 3, 27-30 [summary]

The world-famous organ in the Der Aa-Kerk at Groningen will be restored. The preparation of the restoration has taken several years now. On 14 September 1995, the owner of the organ, the Foundation Der Aa-kerk Groningen, presented a restoration plan, drawn up by their advisor, Rudi van Straten. This plan was a new version of an older plan, submitted in 1992 and later withdrawn. The city of Groningen granted a permit for the plan. Organ builder Reil was contracted to carry out the restoration, and dismantled the organ in January 1997. After the dismantling, it was concluded that the weakened structure of the organ required an adjustment of the restoration plan. In 1997 the ‘Wijzigingsvoorstel’ was submitted, which included the reconstruction of the Schnitger’s case, in particular its rear panels and framework, and, consequently, the construction of new, smaller wind-chests for the Hoofdwerk. As a result of the smaller space in the Hoofdwerk, some stops will have to be moved to the Bovenwerk or removed. Cis and Dis will also have to be removed. [FOTO DER AAKERK / Bijschrift:] The organ in the Der Aa-Kerk at Groningen. Photo Jack Schroevers The city of Groningen received 14 petitions that were discussed in an informal hearing on 11 February 1998. The Advisor on Organs of the National Monument Service advised the city to agree. After publishing its permission, the city received 9 petitions, among others from the Foundation for the Protection of the Main Organ of the Der Aa-Kerk, which was established on 3 November 1998. The official hearing was on 22 February 1999. The petitions focused on the way the plan was conceived, the contents of the plan and the way the preliminaries had taken place. Before long, the city of Groningen will have to decide what to do. If the city upholds the rebuilding permit, it is possible that a lawsuit will be the next stage. The preparation of the restoration would be served by open discussion between all experts. A symposium might be a good idea. See also

• Netherlands Department for Conservation [www.rdmz.nl]
• Foundation for the Protection of the Main Organ of the Der Aa-Kerk [http://users.castel.nl/~carrd01/]