Friday, October 9, 2015

KLM's latest Delft house bridges cultures of Europe and Asia

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines celebrated its 96th birthday this week. And, true to tradition, KLM
Latest offering in KLM's Delftware miniature collection
introduced its latest Delftware miniature.

The houses are exclusive gifts to KLM passengers travelling in World Business Class on intercontinental flights. They have become a collector’s item worldwide.

This year, the choice for KLM’s 96th house went to the Hamel House in Gorinchem. The 96th house was unveiled in Gorinchem this week. The first house was presented by KLM President and CEO Pieter Elbers to Piet IJssels, Chairman of the Hamel Foundation and the South Korean Ambassador, Jong-hyun Choe.

KLM has been flying to South Korea since 1984 and currently operates daily service between Amsterdam and Seoul.

Hendrick Hamel (Gorinchem, 1630 - 1692) was a Dutch seafarer. In 1653 his ship, the Sperwer,  wrecked off the coast of the Korean island of Jeju. The survivors were not allowed to leave the country because the Korean king was afraid that information about Korea would get out to the rest of the world. After 13 years in the country, Hamel succeeded in escaping, along with seven others.
Hamel kept a detailed journal of his time in Korea, which served as the only source of information about Korea at that time in Europe. 
The Hamel House was reconstructed in Hendrick’s birthplace and serves as a museum.

KLM has presented its Delftware miniatures on board since the 1950s. The houses are replicas of exceptional buildings in the Netherlands. The number of houses in the collection has corresponded with KLM’s age since 1994. A new house has been added to the collection on October 7 each year. 

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