Riches of Dutch History Return to Rijksmuseum

AP News
Posted: Apr 04, 2013 7:34 AM
Riches of Dutch History Return to Rijksmuseum

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Rembrandt van Rijn's masterpiece "The Night Watch" is back in pride of place at the newly renovated National Museum of the Netherlands, along with works by Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and thousands of other Dutch cultural and artistic artifacts, as the museum prepares to reopen after a massive 10-year, 375 million euro ($480 million) renovation.

In a preview Thursday ahead of the Rijksmuseum's April 13th opening, director Wim Pijbes said the improvements will justify the long wait.

The 19th-century building's red-brick exterior, which resembles a fairy-tale castle, has been left intact. Inside, a central courtyard has been crafted to let natural light pour in, creating a bright heart at the center of the museum.

The museum expects annual visits to nearly double to two million after the renovation.