The exhibition of late works by Dutch artist Rembrandt at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum drew over 500,000 visitors, the museum said on Sunday.
It was a tremendous success, museum director Wim Pijbes said. ‘Of course you hope for great results and we got 520,698 over the three months.’ That is 60,000 more than the previous record which was set in 1969, he said.
The show focused on 100 words by Rembrandt in the last 20 years of his life and cost €5m to stage. The insurance of the art alone cost over €1m.
Pijbes said he was unable say if the museum had made a profit but that the exhibition had certainly broken even. Some 20% of the visitors came from abroad.
Despite the success, the museum came under fire for allowing too many visitors in at one time, so that it was difficult for art lovers to appreciate the work on offer.
The criticism led Pijbes to say in Trouw that if people wanted to contemplate art in silence, they should ‘buy their own Rembrandt’. He later softened the statement, saying the museum was doing all it could to spread the stream of visitors.
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