In 2019, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam will close its doors for seven years as part of a major renovation and rebuilding project. But the art won’t be out of sight when the doors close. Art lovers will have the chance to appreciate some of the museum’s highlights as it embarks on a ‘world tour’ during the temporary closure.
The museum will reopen in 2026 after a major renovation project with a capital injection of €223 million. The city’s executive board has already approved the budget for the overhaul but the definitive scope of the rebuilding plans must be approved by the city council (although plans are set to be complete before the end of the year). The museum will close temporarily early next year and the complete closure will follow in late May with an estimated time limit of seven years for the renovation with a planned reopening date in early 2026. Until then, some of the collections can be viewed in other museums and public spaces.
The museum’s collection in its current display ‘The Collection as Time Machine’ can be viewed until 26 May. The collection features 145,000 objects dating from the 13th century to the present day, including masterpieces such as Pieter Bruegel’s ‘The Tower of Babel’ and ‘The Pedlar’ by Hieronymus Bosch. For now, the public also has the opportunity to see several exhibitions, including a major Bauhaus exhibition and a selection of highlights from the collection in the modern Bodon building. The old Van der Steur building will close in phases in January and February for renovation before the entire museum closes in late May.
“From May 26, the museum will be under construction for a few years. During the upcoming renovation many artworks of the collection will remain visible and accessible in Rotterdam,” a Bojimans spokesperson told Lonely Planet. “Galleries such as Chabot Museum, Belasting & Douane Museum, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Maritime Museum, Museum Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and the Wereldmuseum will present parts of the collection under the name ‘Boijmans bij de Buren’ (Bojimans at the Neighbours) in the coming years.”
An exhibition entitled ‘The Best of Boijmans’ is planned to visit leading museums around the world. The museum’s collection of books will be transferred to the Rotterdam City Archives. The museum also has plans to take real artworks to classrooms across Rotterdam to inspire a new generation of budding artists. In addition, the museum is working to open a location in Rotterdam-Zuid, where they plan to open an experimental space for young visitors in 2020. And finally, the construction of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot is in full swing. This iconic building and the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility will open its doors in the Museumpark in late 2020/early 2021.
The current museum building predates World War II and the Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture (RRKC) said it needs a radical overhaul to meet today’s demands. In a statement, museum officials said the current buildings “will be restored to their former glory, to meet today’s demands and prepare for the future.”
You can stay up-to-date with Museum Bojimans Van Beuningen’s exciting plans here.
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