The Rijksmuseum Reborn

It’s taken forever and a day but Amsterdam’s counterpart to Paris’ Louvre, Florence’s Uffizi, and St Petersburg’s Hermitage is finally, finally (can’t stress that enough) fully open to the public once again. To mark the occasion, most of Museum Square was decorated with large, beautiful tulips in full bloom, with the Queen herself opening the complex just a few hours earlier. Unfortunately, she was long gone by the time I got there.

In the nearly five years that I’ve been in this country, all that I’ve seen from the Rijksmuseum, apart from the limited selection of art on display, were the building’s varying degrees of construction. Now ten years and half a billion dollars later (what EU recession??), it finally opened to much fanfare on April 13.
Even from afar I couldn’t help but feel excited to see what was inside and the festive atmosphere on the busy square just made me feel even more so. Could definitely sense a high feeling of anticipation, and possibly even relief. When the 99 day countdown clock started last January 4, it became clear even the authorities wanted to assure the world that the waiting was nearly over.

Inasmuch as I wanted to go inside that day, it ended up being a pipe dream. There were just too many people excited to see the reborn museum that the queue stretched hundreds of meters, easily. Waiving the entry fee for the reopening didn’t help, of course. Due to the wonderful weather, I decided to stay outdoors, avoid the maddening crowd and simply return another day. If I could wait five years, a few more days certainly wouldn’t hurt.

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