Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, will attend opening celebrations of the Hermitage Amsterdam
museum on the evening of Friday, June 19, one day prior to the public opening of the museum on June 20, 2009. Other members of the Dutch Royal family expected to attend include Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima. The Hermitage Amsterdam opens with the dazzling exhibition, At the Russian Court: Palace and Protocol in the 19th Century.
The Hermitage Amsterdam is the first branch of the magnificent Russian State Museum Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The Hermitage Amsterdam will organize temporary exhibitions chosen from the collections of the Hermitage and other Russian museums. The opening exhibition will feature more than 1,800 objects to tell the story about the court life of Russian tsars, including the Romanov throne, jewelry by Fabergé, gala dresses and the last tsarinas grand piano.
The museum is housed in the monumental 17th-century building Amstelhof, a historic building off the Amstel River in Amsterdam which has undergone nearly $50 million in renovations in preparation of the opening of the museum. The Hermitage Amsterdams 9,000 m2 (nearly 96,000 square feet) consists of two large galleries, cabinets, an old chapel, regents rooms and an enclosed garden. The building also contains a study centre, a restaurant, shops and the Hermitage for Children center.
From June 20th 2009, 10 a.m., a major new European cultural destination, the greatly expanded Hermitage Amsterdam, will welcome visitors to its elegantly restored 17th-century building in the historic heart of Amsterdam. Founded to bring the richness and grandeur of Russias artistic heritage to one of the Wests most charming capitals, this independent cultural institution will inaugurate its spacious new home ten times the size of the previous building with the exhibition At the Russian Court, a dazzling display of more than 1,800 treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Hermitage Amsterdam is the only dedicated, independently managed venue in the West of St Petersburgs magnificent State Hermitage Museum. At the Russian Court a scholarly researched exploration of the opulent material culture, elaborate social hierarchy and richly layered traditions of the Tsarist court at its height in the 19th century will remain on show from June 20th in the new institution until January 31st 2010. Hermitage Amsterdam will then stage two large-scale, temporary exhibitions each year, drawing on the encyclopaedic collections and unparalleled scholarship of Russias museums to offer cultural riches that would otherwise be unavailable in Amsterdam.