After 10 years of extensive renovation, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, is due to open tomorrow, 13 April. Fittingly, there will be a weekend of festivities led by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who will perform the official opening ceremony in front of the building. The transformation of the Rijksmuseum is one of the most significant ever undertaken by a museum. The historic 19th-century space has been transformed and new public facilities have been created including a spectacular new entrance hall, a new Asian pavilion and renovated gardens. The museum will feature over 8,000 works of art and artefacts telling the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The world-famous collection, including masterpieces by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn, will be presented in chronological sequence for the first time, creating an awareness of time and a sense of beauty.
The events begin at 11.30 and the opening ceremony commences at noon. Members of the public will be able to access the museum free of charge until midnight, entering on a long orange carpet that will stretch like a catwalk from Museumplein to the Rijksmuseum’s spectacular new Atrium entrance. To give as many people as possible the opportunity to visit the museum, members of the public will be taken on a special tour of the highlights of the museum’s celebrated collection.
On 14 April, the entire museum will be open for the first time from 9AM. Sunday’s guests will be able to experience a large-scale performance conceived by Dutch artist Job Koelewijn on Museumplein and directed by Penny Jones who is internationally renowned for her opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games and the Africa Cup of Nations. There will also be the presentation of, Op handen gedragen, which is a visual spectacle performed by 800 students and inspired by Rijksmuseum’s masterpieces. The performance is the final work in a series of presentations by contemporary artists in and around the Rijksmuseum during the museum’s 10 year transformation.
Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat 1, 1071 CJ Amsterdam.