Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands today led the official opening ceremony for the transformed Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, turning a giant golden key at midday to mark the occasion. The ceremonial moment took place outside the Rijksmuseum on an orange carpet laid out to welcome visitors, which stretched from Amsterdam’s Museumplein to the front entrance of the museum. The ceremony was witnessed by thousands of people, who had gathered together to see one of the final major public appearances of Queen Beatrix before her abdication and to visit the Rijksmuseum.
The opening ceremony began with a spectacular performance of fanfares performed by bands from each of the Netherlands’ twelve provinces and its overseas regions. The 750 musicians formed an honour guard for the Queen 13 April 2013 as she entered the Museumplein following a tour of the Rijksmuseum. The event culminated with a spectacular fireworks display. The museum then welcomed visitors for a special free tour of the highlights of its celebrated collection, and remains open until midnight.
Before the official opening ceremony began, Queen Beatrix received a guided tour of the transformed Rijksmuseum. The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble welcomed her arrival with a performance of Fanfare for the Common Man by American composer Aaron Copeland. Following a brief welcome by Rijksmuseum General Director Wim Pijbes and Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker, the Queen witnessed private performances in the Atrium by trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, and by writer Remco Campert of a poem that he created especially for the opening. An artwork by Dutch designer Christian Borstlap was also unveiled in the Atrium and will remain on show for the opening weekend. The installation features individual welcome messages using the 18,000 first names of Dutch citizens.
On Sunday 14 April the entire museum first opened at 9 am. A ticket costs 15 euros in the opening year. Ticket sales started on March 20, 2013 on the website of the Rijksmuseum. On Sunday 14 April, the entire museum will be open for the first time from 9AM. In the opening year, admission will cost €15 for adults and will be free of charge for children aged 18 and under. Tickets are available for purchase on the Rijksmuseum’s website.
The opening of the Rijksmuseum on 13 April 2013 is sponsored by ING.