ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Rijks Museum all new and shiny

Like most hundred year or more old institutions in Europe, there comes a time when it has to shut it's doors, take a long hard look at itself and embark on the process of reinvention for the 21st century. Thus the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam was out of bounds for a few years while it morphed into a museum able to cope with the hoards to visitors who come to soak up the Golden Age of Dutch painting and collecting. It reopened a year ago with shiny new marble entrance way, cafe and lots of glass.

I missed it on my last trip to the Dutch capital by a few weeks, so I have and to wait patently for the next opportunity to reacquaint myself with the wonderful Rembrandts,  three Vermeers and the handful of Van Goghs in the collection.

It was an absolute treat last weekend, only midly interfered with by royalty. I wondered why there were so many people hanging around in the Rembrandt gallery, but shrugged it off and carried on looking a a painting when a tall perfectly dressed security guard asked me if I wouldn't mind standing to one side.
    'Why?' I asked him in return.
     'Because I am asking you nicely,' he said.
     'No, why are you asking me.'
     'Because the King and Queen are coming with the Queen of Sweden.'
     'They're only people,' I said indigently and reluctantly moving away.
I felt like adding, And I bet they haven't paid their 15 euros each to get in. As you tell I am not a fan of any kind of privilege. It rather put me off the rest of my visit, but don't let that stop you, the royal family don't live in the Rijks Museum.

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