Top travel award for renovated Dutch museum

The Rijksmuseum received the British Guild of Travel Writers Award in the European Tourism Project category at a Gala dinner held at The Savoy Hotel, London on Sunday, November 3.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th November 2013, 4:20 pm

After ten years of rebuilding, renovation and restoration, the Rijksmuseum opened its doors on April 13.

Never before had a national museum undergone such a complete transformation of both its building and the presentation of its collection.

Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos spectacularly transformed the 19th-century building into a museum for the

21st century, with a bright and spacious entrance, a new Asian Pavilion and beautifully restored galleries.

Under the guidance of restoration architect Van Hoogevest, the lavish decoration scheme of Pierre Cuypers, the original architect of the museum, has been fully reconstructed in a number of the museum’s key spaces.

Parisian architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed the new interior of the galleries, fusing 19th-century grandeur with modern design.

In October 2013 the Rijksmuseum already received 1.7 million visitors from all over the world.

Wim Pijbes, Director, the Rijksmuseum says: “We are very honoured to win this prestigious award. The long awaited re-opening was lauded the world over and has made a significant contribution to the tourism in Amsterdam and the Dutch economy in general.

“With 1.7 million visitors in 6 months, our goal is now to maintain this success. We put all our energy and creativity into attracting art and culture lovers from all over the world to Amsterdam/Holland to visit the Rijksmuseum”.

Sandra Ishmael, Director UK & Ireland, Netherlands Board of

Tourism and Conventions says: “I am delighted that the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam has been recognised by the British Guild of Travel Writers as the top European tourism project of 2013.

“Holland is a pioneer of world-class museums, galleries and exhibitions and this continues to attract British art lovers on a large scale”.

Susie Boulton, nominator of the restored Rijksmuseum for the BGTW Tourism awards says: “In all the 30 years I have been writing guidebooks on European cities I have never seen such a remarkable transformation of a national museum. Nor have I ever seen such enthusiasm and excitement of a nation as it waited for the opening day.

“The soaring new atrium, the revamped galleries, Cuypers’ Renaissance-revival building restored to its former glory – it’s all a far cry from the dark museum I remember from my student days”.