The city received because of Mrs. Dear B. the proposal at seven paintings by Raymond, Gustaaf and André Verstraeten to buy. From 1870, three generations of these Zottegemse family of artists – first Louis, then Gustaaf and Raymond, then Jules and André – dominated art life in Zottegem for more than a hundred years and portrayed both Zottegem and the Flemish Ardennes. They were all teachers and Raymond and Jules even director of the then Zottegemse ‘drawing school’ (now the Municipal Academy of Art). The brothers André and Jules Verstraeten were also art teachers at local secondary schools, the Royal Athenaeum and the O.-L.-V respectively. from Deinsbek College.
Although it is recognized that the works have a cultural-historical heritage value, the college of mayor and aldermen decided not to accept this offer. The city already owns about thirty works by these painters (some of which are hung in the town hall on the Markt) and, according to the alderman of patrimony Evert De Smet, an even larger collection of the same painters would have no added value for the Zottegemnaren. Certainly in times when local authorities also have to turn every euro twice before spending it, he adds. The city got the seven paintings (below market value) offered for the total sum of 245 euros.