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Amsterdam celebrates Holland’s friendship with US, New York

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Starting today, Amsterdam is hosting a week-long celebration of the city’s 400-year-old ties with New York.

It is part of NY400, the Dutch Government’s year-long celebration of 400 years of enduring friendship between the Netherlands and the United States.

On its official ‘NY400 – Holland at the Hudson’ website, the Government writes,

“Four hundred years ago, a Dutch ship called the Half Moon guided to the shores of what is now New York City with Captain Henry Hudson at the helm. This lead to the establishment of New Amsterdam and the New Netherland colony. Some 167 years later, in 1776, the Dutch were the first to salute the flag of the United States of America. NY400 celebrates the free spirit, openness, entrepreneurship and tolerance of those Dutch-American pioneers, and their continued relevance today and beyond.”

View of New York
View of New York by Johannes Vingboons, painted in 1664 — the year that New Amsterdam became New York. Details.

It’s a relationship not always appreciated by the level-headed Dutch, many of whom reject America’s international policies.

However, with George W. Bush good-riddanced, Barack Obama still in his honeymoon period, and with what Frans Timmersmans — Netherlands minister of European Affairs — sees as America’s increased openness and willingness toward cooperation, the timing of the celebration appears to be perfect.

The city of Amsterdam celebrates the occasion with various activities and events. It wants to especially emphasize the cultural similarities between Amsterdam and New York.

American comedy group Boom Chicago, based at Amsterdam’s Leidseplein, opens the week-long celebrations with a new show: Yankee Come Back. Writes ‘Boom’, as the comedy club is popularly known, “The world is excited about the new president, Barack Obama. Is this the comeback for American leadership on the world stage? Can the U.S. climb out of the political and economic malaise that eight years of George W. Bush have left behind? Boom Chicago is optimistic!”

On Thursday Holland’s famous pop temple Paradiso hosts the designfestival Cut ‘n Paste, in which local and international design talent will challenge each other in a live, digital, design tournament.

Movie theatre Kriterion will screen New York Classics, ranging from old blockbusters to great though not so famous movies.

Several museums, including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, photography museum FOAM, and the Amsterdam Historic Museum, will remain open on Fridy night with special exhibitions. The Rijksmuseum, parts of which are still closed for remodeling, will show a collection including the founding documents of New Netherlands. The Van Gogh Museum shows Colors of the Night, a collection put together in cooperation with New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa).

• Full schedule of events at the NY400 site.

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Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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