Russian President opens Hermitage in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Dutch Queen Beatrix on Friday inaugurated the revamped museum in Amsterdam, a satellite of the Saint Petersburg-based original.
The president was received by the Queen, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima at the entrance to the museum, a refurbished 17th century home on the banks of the Amstel river.

Russian President opens Hermitage in Amsterdam
He arrived in the Netherlands earlier Friday for a two-day official visit that would also include a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Economic Minister Maria van der Hoeven and business leaders.
Medvedev and Beatrix were later due to watch a ballet performance to the music of Russian composer Modest Mussorgski.
Hundreds of police were deployed to the museum precinct in the historic heart of Amsterdam.
The new Amsterdam Hermitage celebrates ties between the two nations bound by the marriage in 1816 of the Netherlands' Prince William of Orange, later to become King Willem II, to the daughter of Russian tsar Paul I, Anna Pavlovna.
The museum of 10,000 square metres (107,000 square feet) is housed in the restored Amstelhof building that had served as a nursing home in the Dutch capital city since the 17th century. It was refurbished at a cost of 40 million euros.
Opening to the public on Saturday, the Hermitage will host a special exhibit until January 31 next year on Russia's 19th century tsars, showcasing the opulence of the royal court. It is billed as one of the largest ever exhibitions in the Netherlands.
Some 1,800 pieces, selected from more than 300 million objects owned by the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, will be on display.

Friday, June 19th 2009

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