The operation continued like clockwork through Sunday night and into the day Monday in order to get the paintings on display again as soon as possible: the Van Gogh Museum is Amsterdam’s most popular, attracting 1.6 million visitors in 2011 — eclipsing both the Rembrandt-rich Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House museum.
The exhibit at The Hermitage opens Saturday and runs through mid-April, with the Van Gogh Museum to reopen on April 25, 2013.
The closure of the Van Gogh Museum was timed in part to coincide with the reopening next door of the lesser-known Stedelijk, or city museum, which houses works by Dutch Modernists Piet Mondriaan and Gerrit Rietveld, as well as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse and many others.
Dubbed “the bathtub” by local press, the most notable new feature of the renovated Stedelijk is a white roof with an overhang that stretches so far from the side of the building it looks like it might simply break off.
Architects say it is structurally sound, made possible thanks to a stronger-than-steel composite material.