DutchAmsterdam.nl — The National Maritime Museum (formerly Netherlands Maritime Museum) in Amsterdam re-opened last Sunday.
The museum had been closed for renovations since January, 2007.
Built as an admirality warehouse in 1655 (a construction job that lasted just 9 months and 14 days), the museum holds the largest collection of boats in the world. The Scheepvaartmuseum, as the museum in known in Holland, is also home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of maritime memorabilia.
Queen Beatrix was the guest of honor at the Sunday night opening celebration.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan had to cancel his scheduled speech in order to deal with a squatters riot elsewhere in town.
Speaking in name of Van Der Laan, eputy Councillor Eric van der Burg called the renovation project “a real tour de force” because the Maritime Museum was the last of three large Amsterdam museums to close its door for renovations — and the first to re-open again.
The renovation project of the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum have met with countless delays.
As part of the renovations the inner courtyard, Het Open Pleyn, has been fitted with a glass roof.
The museum’s collection, covering 500 years of maritime history, has also been updated. It is now organized around 11 themes ranging from whales and The Golden Age to the modern-day harbor of Amsterdam.
The Scheepvaartmuseum expects to welcome some 300.000 visitors a year.
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