This afternoon, Minister Plasterk of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and Rijksmuseum
Director in Chief Wim Pijbes officially laid the first stone for the rebuilding, renovation and restoration of the Rijksmuseum. This symbolic act marked the definitive start of the renovation of the main building of the Rijksmuseum. Once the work has been completed, the Rijksmuseum will open its doors to the public again in the first half of 2013.
In February 2008, the renovation of the Rijksmuseum was divided into seven components. Currently, contractors have been found for six components. On 19 May 2009, Minister Plasterk informed the Lower House that the negotiations for the largest component the restoration, construction and completion of the main building, including the new building had also been concluded. This means a definitive start can be made on the renovation of the Rijksmuseum.
Once the restoration of the main building façades and roofs has been completed at the beginning of 2011, the construction work will follow a year later. As of summer 2012, work can begin on furnishing the exhibition halls, including show cases. Finally, at the end of 2012, a start will be made on refurnishing the Rijksmuseum with 7,000 objects from art and history.
Until the main building reopens, the Rijksmuseum will display its masterpieces from the Golden Age in the Philips Wing on the Museumplein square, in an exhibition entitled 'The Masterpieces'. The museums collection can be admired at the Rijksmuseum division based at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport, in museums in the Netherlands and abroad and on the Internet until 2013.