14 Apr 2013

Rijksmuseum open again

7:35 am on 14 April 2013

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was re-opened by Queen Beatrix on Saturday after renovations lasting a decade.

The Queen, making one of her last official appearances before her abdication, turned a golden key and officially opened the renovated building before a crowd estimated at 10,000. Museum staff expect 30,000 visitors on Saturday.

The Rijksmuseum is a showcase for Dutch art. It houses The Night Watch by Rembrandt and other masterpieces.

The renovation has received rave reviews in the Dutch and international media in recent weeks.

Many of the prize pieces in the collection of have been re-displayed in a broader context, with related paintings, furniture, silver and ceramics arranged in close proximity to each other as part of a new layout.

The overhaul took far longer than expected and overshot original estimates, costing 375 million euro ($US491 million) as the architects had to incorporate an bicycle path in the museum's design and ensure that the spaces below sea-level were in no danger of flooding.