Rijksmuseum Amsterdam welcomes first visitor
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam opened today for the first time in ten years to paying members of the public. The first visitor to enter the gates of the museum, Bonnie Sicka, was greeted by the Directors of the Rijksmuseum, Wim Pijbes and Erik van Ginkel. To celebrate the occasion, the Rijksmuseum presented Bonnie, a textile artist and art teacher from Milton Keynes, with a one-year membership to the Rijksmuseum and the new museum guide book.
Over 20,000 members of the public took part in a special free highlights tour of the Rijksmuseum from noon until midnight on Saturday 13 April, following the official opening ceremony led by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
The entire museum then opened for the first time on Sunday 14 April at 9AM, with visitors able to access all areas of the transformed Rijksmuseum, including the celebrated Gallery of Honour featuring highlights from the Dutch Golden Age collection, the new Asian Pavilion, the new 20th century galleries and the Cuypers Library.
Members of the public will also have the opportunity to witness a large-scale performance conceived by Dutch artist Job Koelewijn on Museumplein on Sunday, which starts at 3PM and 3:30PM. The performance is directed by Penny Jones, who is internationally renowned for her opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games and Africa Cup of Nations. The visual spectacle, titled ‘Op handen gedragen’, will be performed by 800 students and is inspired by four of the Rijksmuseum’s masterpieces. It is the final work in a series of presentations by contemporary artists in and around the Rijksmuseum during the museum’s ten-year transformation, organised in collaboration with the Dutch Government Buildings Agency.
Over 75,000 electronic tickets to the Rijksmuseum had already been booked online by members of the public in advance of the official opening ceremony on 13 April 2013. For 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: www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/tickets
The Rijksmuseum has reopened following a ten-year transformation, one of the most significant ever undertaken by a museum. The entire building has been renewed – the historic 19th-century building 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.