The Nightwatch returns to its traditional Rijksmuseum home

Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Nightwatch was on Wednesday returned to its traditional location in the refurbished main exhibition space in the Rijksmuseum ahead of the reopening on April 13.

The massive painting, which dates from 1642, has hung in the museum’s annex for the past nine years during the rebuilding process.

The painting, which is 4.54 metres wide and 3.79 metres high, was placed in a 300 kilo steel frame, covered with insulation and extra protection before it could be moved. The cover also contained sensors to monitor temperature, air humidity and movement. Dozens of people gathered outside the museum to watch the process.

The Nightwatch was lowered back into place via a hole that was used to remove the painting to safety, shortly before the German invasion in 1940. It spent part of the Second World War rolled up and 35 metres underground in the Sint Pietersberg hill near Maastricht, Nos television said.

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