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City news, 27.02.2004 11:46

Hermitage opens branch in Amsterdam

Hermitage opens branch in Amsterdam A new branch of the Hermitage Museum has opened in Amsterdam. Tuesday's ceremonial opening of Hermitage Amsterdam was attended by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and greeted by a festive atmosphere complete with fireworks over the Amstel River.

"The Hermitage is one of the four biggest museums in the world of the caliber of Madrid's Prado and Paris's Louvre," Piotrovsky said in a recent interview. "Our policy of opening branches abroad will help our fuller integration into the global cultural space."

The new exhibition center opens with a display of Greek gold from the Hermitage's treasure rooms found on expeditions to ancient Greek colonies in the Black Sea area. The jewelry items on display date from the 6th to 2nd century BC and are housed in the Neerlandia Building, whose six galleries total 500 square meters of floor space. The Neerlandia Building is only part of a larger group of galleries set to open in 2007 in the historic Amstelhof architectural complex.

"The Hermitage Amsterdam complex will consist of several buildings situated around a closed garden. The Neerlandia Building was built at the end of the 19th century and is beyond the main building," said Ernst Veen, president of the Foundation of Hermitage Friends in the Netherlands.

The establishment of a Dutch Hermitage comes as culmination of a longstanding exchange between the Netherlands and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Because of the Hermitage's impressive collection of Dutch and Flemish art, the Dutch count among the museum's most avid visitors and have been active sponsors of restoration and other development projects in St. Petersburg. In part, the new Dutch branch is in continuation of that relationship.

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