Tight security for Russian president visit

Security will be tightened up in Amsterdam on Friday, ahead of the visit by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, the city’s mayor Job Cohen has announced.

Medvedev will be in town for the grand opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, an annex of the famous Russian art gallery and museum.
The area around the former nursing home on the Amstel river will be closed off and locals face ID checks and police escorts to get to their homes.
The opening ceremony will also be attended by queen Beatrix and other high-ranking Russian officials.
The 17th century Amstelhof has been converted into a museum with 9,000 square meters of exhibition space in a two-year project. It can borrow whatever it likes from its parent museum as long as its shows do not compete with other museum collections in the city, the NRC reports.
The construction project also stayed within its €42m budget, the paper says. Other museum renovations in the city, such as the Rijksmuseum and modern art Stedelijk museum have run over budget and are taking far longer to complete than planned.
The Hermitage does not get government subsidies and relies mostly on private donations, the NRC says. Heineken, Fortis Bank and Philips are among the museum’s backers.

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