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Hermitage museum to open in Amsterdam

by Caroline Wilkinson | 15 Dec 2008

The €40m (£35.9, $53.4m) development of the Hermitage Amsterdam (HA) museum, located within the restored 17th century Amstelhof building, has entered the final phase of construction.

Due to open in June 2009, the museum will become an exhibition venue for Russian art, displaying over 1,800 artifacts brought over from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. The 9.925sq m (107,000sq ft) Amstelhof, a former listed nursing home, is being renovated by Dutch architects Hans Van Heeswijk and Merkx + Girod to feature exhibition space, a restaurant and an outdoor terrace for concerts and lectures. There will also be a 400-seat auditorium, two retail stores, conference rooms and a courtyard garden designed by landscape architect Michael van Gessel.

The adjacent Nerlandia building, used for exhibitions, will become the Hermitage for Children – an education wing for a programme of classes and workshops. Construction work is being carried out by Van Rossum consulting engineers and firm Bouwbedrijf MJ de Nijs en Zonen BV. Ernst W Veen, managing director of HA, said: "The opening of Hermitage Amsterdam is the culmination of nearly two decades of planning. At the same time, it is a continuation of more than 300 years of close ties between Amsterdam and St Petersburg, going back to Tsar Peter the Great's fabled residence in our city."

HA will display two large-scale, temporary exhibitions each year, drawing on collections at Russia's museums. The HA is a private-public initiative that is unprecedented in the Netherlands. Funds for the transformation of the building into the HA have been provided by BankGiro Lottery, the State of the Netherlands, the province of North Holland, the City of Amsterdam, the W.E. Jansen Fund and the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund.

The €40m (£35.9, $53.4m) development of the Hermitage Amsterdam (HA) museum, located within the restored 17th century Amstelhof building, has entered the final phase of construction. Due to open in June 2009, the museum will become an exhibition venue for Russian art, displaying over 1,800 artifacts brought over from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. The 9.925sq m (107,000sq ft) Amstelhof, a former listed nursing home, is being
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