April 4 2013 - 9:00 AM

The Rijksmuseum opens on Saturday 13 April with a festive programme on Amsterdam’s Museumplein, led by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who will perform the official opening ceremony in front of the Rijksmuseum. Everyone is welcome to join the outdoor opening programme starting at 11:30AM. Following the ceremony at noon, members of the public will be able to access the museum free of charge until midnight, entering on a long orange carpet that will stretch like a catwalk from Museumplein to the Rijksmuseum’s spectacular new Atrium entrance. To give as many people as possible the opportunity to visit the museum, members of the public will be taken on a special tour of the highlights of the museum’s celebrated collection.

Before the official ceremony begins at midday, Queen Beatrix will receive a guided tour of the transformed Rijksmuseum, and will hear private performances by trumpet player Eric Vloeimans and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, and a recital by writer Remco Campert of a poem that he created especially for the opening. An artwork by Dutch designer Christian Borstlap will also be unveiled in the museum and will remain on show for the opening weekend.

The opening ceremony on Museumplein will be heralded by 12 spectacular fanfares, one from every province of the Netherlands. The musicians will enter Museumplein from the Rijksmuseum Passageway and line up for Her Majesty. After her guided tour of the building, Queen Beatrix will walk the orange carpet to Museumplein to perform the official opening ceremony. Thereafter everyone will be invited to visit the museum for free.

On Sunday 14 April, the entire museum will be open for the first time from 9AM. In the opening year, admission will cost €15 for adults and will be free of charge for children aged 18 and under. Tickets are available for purchase on the Rijksmuseum’s website www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/tickets. Visitors to the museum on Sunday 14 April will be able to experience a large-scale performance conceived by Dutch artist Job Koelewijn on Museumplein starting at 3PM and 3:30PM. The performance will be directed by Penny Jones, who is internationally renowned for her opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games and the Africa Cup of Nations. ‘Op handen gedragen’ is a visual spectacle performed by 800 students and inspired by four of the Rijksmuseum’s masterpieces. The performance is the final work in a series of presentations by contemporary artists in and around the Rijksmuseum during the museum’s ten-year transformation, organised in collaboration with the Dutch Government Buildings Agency.

The opening on 13 April is made possible by ING.

Notes to Editors

The 10-year renovation of the Rijksmuseum is one of the most significant ever undertaken by a museum. The entire building has been renewed – the historic 19th-century building has been transformed and new public facilities have been created including a spectacular new entrance hall, a new Asian pavilion and renovated gardens. The museum will feature over 8,000 works of art and artefacts telling the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The world-famous collection, including masterpieces by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn, will be presented in chronological sequence for the first time, creating an awareness of time and a sense of beauty.

press release (PDF)