The New Rijksmuseum

Renovating the large European national museums is a big responsibility. When it comes to institutions like Louvre in Paris and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, it simply is not enough to build a few more extra wings. The projects are shaped by the opinions of the designers, architects and citizens as well as the museum directors who are keen on leaving their mark on history.

Oeke Hookendijk started filming a documentary about the renovation of the Rijksmuseum which was planned to take five years, but instead he ended up working on the project for ten years. In time, the pettiness of people would become obvious even though in principle all were working to conserve the shared cultural heritage.

The architects, directors and renovation site supervisors vent so openly to the camera that the museum’s joyful opening ceremony is quite the surprise for the viewer. The main factors, the museum’s artefacts and paintings, are the concern of only a few when one’s personal vision is threatened by the Dutch cycling culture or by an interior decorator failing at their job. The serious look on the face of the curator of the Asia collection breaks one’s heart: he would want nothing more than to see his new purchases on display in front of an audience instead of them laying in a dark storage.

Text: Johanna Siik / Translation: Anniina Hautakoski

Language: Dutch
Subtitles: English


  • Director: Oeke Hoogendijk
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Year: 2014
  • Length: 90 min
  • Age limit: S
  • Format: DCP
  • Cinematography: Gregor Meerman, Adri Schrover, Paul Cohen, Erik van Empel, Sander Snoep
  • Editing: Gys Zevenbergen
  • Music: Eelco van de Meeberg, Christiaan van Hemert, Maurice Horsthuis
  • Production: Gijs van de Westelaken / Column Film, Pieter van Huystee / Pieter van Huystee Film


  • Kinopalatsi 7: Saturday 31.1. at 11:00
  • Savoy : Sunday 1.2. at 20:30