Rembrandt’s famous 1642 painting, The Night Watch, is scheduled to go through a massive restoration process that will cost millions of euros and last several years. Instead of the Rijksmuseum moving it privately to undergo the restoration, they have chosen to keep it in public and perform the process with complete transparency.
The museum proclaimed that the famous work will sit in a “state-of-the-art clear glass chamber” in the Gallery of Honour, while the team of researchers and conservators work in full visibility to the public. In addition, the project will be livestreamed online to ensure a global audience.
“The Night Watch is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It belongs to us all,” said Taco Dibbits, director of the museum. “That is why we have decided to conduct the restoration within the museum itself – and everyone, wherever they are, will be able to follow the process online.”
The brilliant painting had been showing signs of wear as of late with slight changes happening to the surface of it. This alarmed some experts as they feared permanent bleaching of certain parts. The project will begin in July of next year and involve high technology to map out the painting and its layers of paint. This comes after two previous restorations taking place on The Night Watch one when it was stabbed repeatedly by a mentally challenged man and another when it was sprayed with acid.
Fittingly, the museum will be hosting an exhibition in February with the brilliant painting but before its restoration begins, marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s passing.