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King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands reopens Mauritshuis

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands reopened the Mauritshuis in The Hague today. With much spectacle and fanfare, Vermeer’s world-famous painting Girl With a Pearl Earring was symbolically welcomed back to its own museum. From eight o’clock until midnight, the public is invited to visit the museum for free.

Girl With a Pearl Earring walking on a tightrope

The theme of the opening ceremony was the Mauritshuis’ most famous painting Girl With a Pearl Earring. The painting by Vermeer from ca. 1665 is one of the top 10 most famous works of art in the world. Welcomed by six cavalrymen from the Cavalry Escort of Honour, the Residentie Orchestra and a brass band, the painting – represented by a real-life Girl with a Pearl Earring – was ‘delivered’ to the roof of the seventeenth-century museum in a huge shipping chest. The living painting then made a daring crossing over to the new Royal Dutch Shell Wing on a 30 metre high tightrope. After a voyage of discovery through the museum, the Girl walked out through the old front door and handed over the key to director Emilie Gordenker. Accompanied by acrobats (with the cooperation of the Ashton Brothers) and music from Toeac, she carried out the official opening proceedings together with King Willem-Alexander. The public could follow the entire ceremony on large video screens outside the museum.

Jan Taminiau

Starting with the reopening, the hostesses and hosts of the museum will wear a specially designed Girl With a Pearl Earring brooch from Jan Taminiau. During the opening ceremony, director Emilie Gordenker wore a dress from the Dutch designer Jan Taminiau, as a reference to the collaboration between the Mauritshuis and the designer. The designer is mainly known for the beautiful blue dress which he designed for Her Majesty Queen Maxima, worn during her enthronement last year.

Renovated museum

During the two-year long renovation and transformation, the Mauritshuis has doubled in size. A bright and spacious underground foyer was built as a connection between the historical seventeenth-century building and the new Royal Dutch Shell Wing. This Art Deco building across the street offers new visitor facilities such as temporary exhibition spaces, a large brasserie and museum shop and an educational Art Workshop. The historical Mauritshuis where the permanent collection is exhibited in its traditional form has been thoroughly renovated and embellished.

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