In 2003, the ambitious renovation of one of the world’s greatest museums began. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, home to a glorious collection including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer, was supposed to reopen its doors in 2008 after five years of construction. But from the start, the project was opposed by unyielding bureaucrats and public resistance. The museum directors battled politicians, designers, curators and even the Dutch Cyclists Union as they struggled to complete the renovation and put its massive collection back on public display. Five years late, with costs exceeding half a billion dollars, the museum finally reopened.
Oeke Hoogendijk’s documentary The New Rijksmuseum captures the entire story from design to completion, offering a fly-on-the-wall perspective on one of the most challenging museum construction projects ever conceived. With its decade-long scope, the film reveals a surprisingly dramatic story that art and architecture lovers will not want to miss.