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.
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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”.