Will parliament shut down for five years for renovations?

Dutch parliamentThere is a good chance that a large number of buildings in the Binnehof parliamentary complex will have to close for a five-year period while necessary and far-reaching renovations are carried out.

Both houses of parliament, the Tr√™veszaal cabinet meeting room, the prime minister’s offices and the Council of State offices are being renovated and fitted with up-to-date technical facilities.

Civil servants have presented a number of options to housing minister Stef Blok including wholesale closure of all the buildings at the same time. This would take five years. However, a phased approach, in which buildings were closed one by one, would take 13 years, officials say.

Blok said no decision has yet been reached and discussions on the various options are underway. Work on the project is due to start in 2017.

Parliament itself currently meets in a modern building, opened in 1992, but since then there has only been limited repair work carried out on the complex as a whole. Many of the other buildings in the Binnenhof date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

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