Unique KLM aircraft from Madurodam auctioned for the Red Cross


Sunday 1 October will see a unique aircraft go on the market in Amsterdam. The KLM MD-11, call letters PH-KLM, built on a scale of 1:25 and residing at the miniature Dutch city of Madurodam, is going up for auction. In consultation with KLM, the theme park in The Hague is putting its MD-11 up for auction at the largest Michelin Chef's Table ever – a benefit lunch at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam in Amsterdam. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross and the reconstruction of the island of Sint Maarten. It is the first time in history of Madurodam that one of its models will be auctioned off.

This unique combined auction underlines the close ties that KLM has had with Madurodam ever since the miniature park was founded. The KLM fleet has always played a part at the theme park, and we always keep it up to date. Thanks to twenty-three years of faithful service at this world’s smallest airport, the aircraft has remained in perfect condition. The auction of the unique piece also emphasises the close ties between KLM and Sint Maarten. Following earlier aid missions, KLM wants to show that we will not leave Sint Maarten in the lurch.
Harm Kreulen, Director KLM Netherlands

120 man-hours
The KLM aircraft –  2.5 metres long, and with a wingspan very nearly the same – has adorned Madurodam’s airport since the 1990s. It weighs close to 30 kilos. It took close to 120 man-hours to build the MD-11 by hand according to the official schematics.

Twenty-three years of faithful service
Madurodam had removed the aircraft from its runway in 2016 after the MD-11 was removed from KLM’s fleet. But, despite almost twenty-three years of faithful service at the world’s smallest airport, the aircraft has remained in perfect condition thanks in part to two maintenance checks, which the aircraft underwent every fifteen years, amounting to another two hundred man-hours, to restore it from the effects of the weather.

A fine example of craftsmanship
At Madurodam, we do everything we can to create the most realistic image for our visitors. Our workshop always works according to official blueprints and builds objects accurately, down to the last millimetre – just twenty-five times smaller. So, the windows and the logo are placed in exactly the right places on the MD-11. “Scaling down the aircraft presented a considerable challenge: the aircraft’s round shapes made it difficult to gain good reference points. However, through the years, we have heard nothing but compliments from the experts about just how true to form the aircraft was built,” says Joris van Dijk, Madurodam’s director.

To ensure that it shines for its new owner, the aircraft paid one last speedy visit to the workshop. The aircraft received a new set of stickers and got a new layer of varnish. “This is a showpiece,” Van Dijk said. “The auction is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an enthusiast to take possession of this aircraft.”

Not only is the craftsmanship unique, but so is the nature of the auction. “It is our policy that models never leave Madurodam,” Van Dijk asserts. “If a model can’t be rebuilt, we will build it again – using modern technology, of course. And, if real buildings undergo any changes, we see to it that the models change along with them. Now that KLM is modernising its fleet, we’re doing that at Madurodam as well.” The removal of the MD-11 for the auction will not cause any problems for Madurodam’s fleet. It already has a brand-new KLM Boeing 787 Dreamliner at its airport terminal.

Joint effort
The move to offer the MD-11 up for auction on 1 October was a joint initiative on the part of KLM and Madurodam.

International interest
Expectations for this particular object during the auction are high. Both KLM and Madurodam hope that the aircraft will go for the highest possible price. Due to the uniqueness of the object and the expected international attention, Troostwijk Auctions has volunteered its services, ensuring that potential buyers can make their bids during the benefit lunch in the Hotel Okura Amsterdam and online simultaneously. Buyers can start their bids for this and all other objects online at from 27 September.

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Madurodam The Netherlands at its greatest
Madurodam was founded in 1952 as a living memorial to the war hero George Maduro and as a way to raise funds for charities. It aims to inspire visitors with great stories about the Netherlands. With its miniatures, things to do, and indoor attractions at the greatest tourist site in The Hague, visitors discover what makes a small country so great. Madurodam tells the true stories of Dutch heroes and their highlights – stories about the fight for freedom and heroic deeds. In this way, the theme park connects the past and the present – and invests in the future. Each year, Madurodam donates its revenues to charities that help children to build their self-confidence, empathy, and courage.

Thirty-nine Michelin stars
On the afternoon of Sunday 1 October, no fewer than thirty-two chefs (holding a total of thirty-nine Michelin stars) will go into action at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam to contribute to the reconstruction of Sint Maarten following the devastation of hurricane Irma. The revenues from this unique lunch for this, the largest Michelin Chef’s Table in the Netherlands, will go entirely to the Red Cross. Participating restaurants will include De Librije, De Lindenhof, Ciel Bleu, Bord’Eau, ’t Nonnetje, Bridges, Vermeer, and De Nederlanden. What’s more, the Netherlands’ first three-star chef, Cees Helder, has agreed to take part.

Sint Maarten Chef’s Table
The gastronomic world of the Netherlands is joining hands to create this unique lunch under the name of the Sint Maarten Chef’s Table. Hotel Okura Amsterdam’s Grand Ballroom will accommodate an enormous kitchen where thirty-two chef’s tables will stand. Each Chef’s Table of ten people will have a five-course dinner, including aperitif, matching wines, water, and coffee. What is extra special is that each table will be served by a different chef for each course. In addition to the culinary delights, there will be a varied assortment of entertainment, there will be a raffle, and three exclusive pieces will go up for auction.

The initiative for the Sint Maarten Chef’s Table benefit lunch comes from the top of the Dutch culinary world. Many of the chefs have cooked during the past ten editions of the gastronomic event Fête de la Cuisine on Sint Maarten and, in so doing, have come to know the island, its inhabitants, and their colleagues overseas. When the idea for the benefit lunch came about, chefs from all over the country poured in to offer their services.