Rijksmuseum re-opens today
AFTER a decade of closure the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam — which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age — re-opens to the public today. Renovation took five years longer than expected and cost € 375 million. Changes include a new entrance, an Asia Pavilion, and two vast courtyards with light from above. Masterpieces will be on view in a revealing sequence of 80 galleries where 19th century grandeur is fused with modern design. The new presentation fuses art and crafts chronologically. Art is displayed alongside objects like glass, porcelain and furniture that was around when the work was created to illustrate the crosspollination between decorative and visual arts.
Only The Night Watch, Rembrandt’s famous work renowned for its light, shadow, motion and size and correctly titled The Company of captain Frans Banning Cocq and lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch preparing to march out is back in its original position. The museum is expected to attract up to two million visitors annually and will be open 365 days a year.
Journalists take pictures and video footage as dignitaries including museum director Wim Pijbes, centre, pose in front of Dutch master Rembrandt’s The Night Watch painting during a press preview of the renovated Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam. Picture: AP /Peter Dejong