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In the Hague in the beginning of this century the private collection of the Banker Mr. C.W. Lunsingh Scheurleer was exhibited at the Museum Scheurleer. During the 1920's the Banker was alos able to buy a great part of the Von Bissing collection. Scheurleer contributed to the costs of excavations carried out by W.M.F. Petrie and thus acquired many objects through division after excavation. Unfortunately, in 1932 the bank Scheurleer had some problems and went bankrupt. In order to keep the collection in The Netherlands the Allard Pierson Foundation was established. The City of Amsterdam placed a school in the Sarphatistreer at the disposal of the Foundation and in 1943 the Allard Pierson Archaeological Museum of Amsterdam University was inaugurated. During the course of the years the Museum has expanded it's collection through gifts, purchase and permanent loans, like the Van Leer and Boeke-Cadbury collections and also the Dobbor shabti collection. Due to the lack of space Amsterdam University bought the old building of the 'Nederlandse Bank' for the Museum and in 1976 the Allard Pierson relocated and opened.

The main focus of the Egyptian collection are the Pre- and Early Dynastic Period, the Amarna period, the Graeco-Roman period and Coptic Textiles.

Apart from the Egyptian Collection the Allard Pierson Museum owns objects from Greece, Rome, Etruria, Crete/Mycene, Cyprus and Western Asia.