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Rembrandt's Night Watch goes home to revamped Rijksmuseum which reopens to the public on 13 April
The Night Watch,or The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq, one of the most famous works by Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, returns to its original place in the Nachtwachtzaal (Room of the Night Watch), in Amsterdam, on March 27, 2013. Because of the renovation, restoration and rebuilding of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Night Watch hung in the Philipsvleugel for 9 years. AFP PHOTO/ MARTIJN BEEKMAN.
AMSTERDAM (AFP).- One of the world’s most celebrated artworks, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, returned to the Rijksmuseum main building following the ten-year closure of the museum, which reopens to the public on 13 April 2013. 8,000 artworks and artefacts have been transported and set up in the transformed museum since September 2012. The installation culminated with the hanging of The Night Watch, the only object that returned to its original position in the museum.

The journey of the artwork from the Rijksmuseum Philips Wing to the main building was overseen by museum curators, art transport company Crown Fine Art, and technical specialists from Philips’ research centres. The Night Watch was crated in a wooden box, and covered by a protective layer featuring a life-size reproduction of the painting. The crate was lowered down the outside of the Philips Wing, driven in a special vehicle to the main building and was then raised up from the Rijksmuseum Passageway into the Night Watch Gallery above.

The huge oil painting, correctly titled "The Company of captain Frans Banning Cocq and lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch preparing to march out," has hung in an adjacent wing of the world-famous Amsterdam museum for the past nine years while the building underwent renovations.

The 17th-century painting was protected by a specially designed 300 kilo (660 pound) steel frame, a foam insulation layer and a protective blanket while it was moved back to the Nachtwachtzaal (Room of the Night Watch) in the museum.

The same "intelligent" cover, designed by Dutch electronics firm Philips with built-in temperature and humidity sensors, was used to move the painting out of the 19th-century Rijksmuseum in 2003.

Queen Beatrix is to reopen the Rijksmuseum at a gala ceremony on April 13.



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