If Rotterdam City Council gets its way, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be shutting its doors for the next seven years for an extensive renovation, which will cost €223 million.
The lead councillor for Education and Culture, Said Kasmi, speaking on behalf of the Mayor of Rotterdam and the Executive Board, made the announcement today. The city’s Council for Art and Culture explained its recommendation to renovate the museum in line with the most ambitious scenario. The City Council is expected to make a decision about the final renovation scenario before the end of the year.
The museum building in Museumpark is run down and in need of modernisation and renovation. The recommendation for a major renovation means that the museum will restore its current buildings to their former glory, satisfy present-day requirements and be ready for the future. When the project is completed, the refurbished museum will form a cohesive whole with the new Depot, Museumpark and the museums around it.
In 2019 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is closing its doors for modernisation and renovation. Art lovers have until 14 January 2019 to visit the unusual exhibition ‘The Collection as a Time Machine’ in the iconic Van der Steur building, which was built in 1935. The permanent collection is being transferred to external depots. A number of exhibitions, including a major Bauhaus exhibition and a selection of highlights from the collection, will run until 26 May 2019 in the 1,500 m2 Bodon Gallery and the surrounding galleries designed by architects Robbrecht and Daem.
Where is Boijmans?
During the renovation a significant part of the collection will still be accessible to the public. Eight neighbouring museums will be staging exhibitions under the title ‘Boijmans Next Door’, made possible in part by the Stichting Droom en Daad. Highlights from the collection will continue to travel to venues around the world in the form of specially curated touring exhibitions. A planned exhibition titled ‘The Best of Boijmans’ travel to leading museums worldwide. The book collection is being transferred to Rotterdam City Archives. ’Boijmans in the Classroom’ is an educational programme for schools in Rotterdam in which schoolchildren will get to spend time with real works of art in the classroom. We are still working hard on opening a venue in Rotterdam South. Our ambition is to open there in 2020 with a space for the young generation. Finally, the building of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot continues apace. This iconic building, the first depot in the world to offer public access to an entire collection, will open in Museumpark in Rotterdam in 2021.
The Rotterdam artist Iwan Smit has summarized all of these plans in a splendid illustration.
Update June 2019: In the past year, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen investigated the possibilities of opening a venue of the museum in Rotterdam South. This was not successful. The museum is also working on new plans at existing locations and events and in 2021 will bring the entire collection together in the publicly accessible Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen.