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Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' will get public restoration at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits in front of Rembrandt's

Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits in front of Rembrandt's "The Night Watch," which will be restored next year in the public eye. Photo Credit: AP / Peter Dejong

Rembrandt van Rijn's masterpiece "The Night Watch" is getting a makeover.

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum announced this month that it will restore its most famous painting, starting next year in a project that will be open to the public and viewable online.

Rijksmuseum General Director Taco Dibbits said that from July the huge Golden Age masterpiece will be encased in a specially built glass chamber as it first undergoes a thorough varnish-to-canvas examination using a precise microscope and other modern techniques. The findings will guide the subsequent restoration.

The painting of a citizens' militia completed in 1642 last underwent a restoration 40 years ago.

More than 2 million people each year visit the Rijksmuseum, which has the world's largest collection of Rembrandt works. The restoration project comes in the year that marks the 350th anniversary of the artist's death in 1669 and will be part of a "Year of Rembrandt" at the museum.

Before its restoration, "The Night Watch" will be part of a major exhibition of all the Rembrandt works owned by the museum — 22 paintings, 60 drawings and 300 of his 1,300 prints.

INFO rijksmuseum.nl

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