Leiden, June 19 2019

King opens Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden

His Majesty the King opened the renovated Museum De Lakenhal today. The museum will open its doors to the public tomorrow, 20 June, at 10 a.m. after being closed for more than 2 years. During the closure, the museum has been thoroughly restored and expanded.

The museum had invited primary school pupils in Leiden to take part in a competition to design a key with which the King would perform the opening. 17 schools took part in the competition. The winning design and its designers played a prominent role in the opening ceremony. The key with the winning design was combined with a second key to unfold the city’s symbol and symbolically open the museum. The three winners from group 7 of the Arcade Primary School performed this ceremonial opening together with the King.

During the guided tour that followed, the King viewed the premier exhibit, ‘The Last Judgement’ by Lucas van Leyden, the collection on ‘The Siege and Relief of Leiden’, and the New Leiden Cloth, which was developed by five present-day artists and designers using a combination of new techniques and Leiden’s old, traditional crafts. He also paid a visit to the new educational studio, where the class of the winning designers was attending a workshop.

Thanks to the restoration and expansion, the balance between various time levels according to the principle of ‘unity in diversity’ has been restored. In the splendidly restored museum complex, one can find a rich selection from the collection of pictorial art, craftwork and history, based on seven core stories. Ten contemporary artists and designers were commissioned to make a radical intervention in the building within the framework of the restoration and expansion. In the new exhibition halls one can view spatial still lifes by the Belgian photographer Karin Borghouts and the work of the pictorial artist Marjan Teeuwen.

Museum De Lakenhal wants to get as many different people as possible to look at Leiden’s past with new eyes. Museum De Lakenhal is an inclusive, hospitable museum that makes everyone welcome regardless of age, disability or cultural and social background. During a vibrant opening festival from 20 to 23 June, admission to the museum will be free and there will be a special programme of surprises from Leiden. Have a look at the full programme.

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