Entertainment & Arts

The renovated Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam wins rave reviews

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Media captionCelebrations marking the reopening of the Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum has reopened after a 10-year renovation, with the media hailing it "a triumph" and "profoundly transformed".

Orange fireworks were accompanied by a huge fanfare as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the building.

The renovation, which cost 375m Euros (£320m), had been delayed by flooding, asbestos and a cycle access dispute.

But the museum's directors have said they predict more than two million people will visit it annually.

Here is a selection of comments in the press on the refurbished building:

The Telegraph

Many of the world's museum directors wept. Never has a national museum reopened to such scenes of fervency. The restored, extended and rejigged Rijksmuseum is a triumph of curatorial intelligence and sensitivity.

Once again - at last - the world can experience the richness of the greatest art tradition ever produced by a tiny, sea-hemmed nation: from Vermeer to Van Gogh, Rembrandt to Mondrian.

The Guardian

The Dutch capital is cleaning up its act. Brothels and cannabis cafes are being closed. But the most significant transformation is the renovation of the Rijksmuseum. Stand in front of the Rijksmuseum's charcoal-painted walls and look again at those Golden Age pictures of church interiors and you will find depictions of dogs cavorting, gallants chatting up maids and market stalls trading within the house of God. There will always be many shades of grey in Amsterdam.

The Independent

The Rijksmuseum will reach places that other art collections do not. Such as your heart.

The long winter of discontented tourists is over. The Night Watch is back in its rightful place at the head of the Gallery of Honour. The rejuvenated Rijksmuseum is back at the heart of Amsterdam, and it is time that you came back to this most creative of cities, which decorates the map of Europe so elegantly.


The Rijksmuseum is a showcase of what this country can do when it really wants something great. Work is not yet finished; this is merely the beginning of a new era for the museum.

The Wall Street Journal

After 10 years of comprehensive renovations, the Rijksmuseum—the Dutch national museum of art and history, where masterpieces by Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer mingle with 17th-century blunderbusses and Delft blue pottery—triumphantly reopens its doors in the Dutch capital to reveal a profoundly transformed institution, whose elegant public spaces and intelligent presentation of collections are likely to serve as models for other museums around the world in years to come.

The Express

After £300 million and a veritable army of architects, builders and curators, the wait has been well worth it. This vast building has been restored to the beauty and elegance that characterised it when it opened in 1885 but re-designed to present Holland's artistic treasures in a chronological journey through centuries of Dutch history.

Daily Mail

The Rijksmuseum, the chief curator told me, is showing only 10% of its holdings at once. It is, therefore, far more digestible than most great national museums in a single visit, but I can imagine wanting more depth after a time. I missed a room of flower paintings, for example, one of the great glories of the nation.

Still, there are great splendours here and I recommend the carved rock-crystal vessels. It's good to welcome the Rijksmuseum back.

Herald Scotland

My favourite moment of discovery, as I explore the new Rijksmuseum, is the feeling I get when I push the heavy, creaking door to enter the library. What a Harry Potter fantasy: a four-tier booklover's delight, with high, arched, stained-glass windows and a single, wobbling corkscrew staircase to link it all together. This is open to the public for the first time in its history.

Were those 10 years worth it? Definitely. Architect Pierre Cuypers's magic, combined with modern-day technical wizardry, makes the Rijksmuseum a palace of dreams.

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