Van Gogh site reopens after $35M face-lift

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- The Van Gogh Museum here reopened its doors June 24 after a 10-month, $35 million expansion and renovation that included the addition of a wing.

Visitors crowded the museum to see the famous canvases of Dutch Impressionist Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the original main building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, which was redesigned and will be used exclusively for the museum's permanent collection.

The new $21 million wing, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, will be used for temporary expositions, including the reopening exhibition dedicated to Vincent's brother, Theo van Gogh.

Between 1881 and 1890, Theo managed an influential art gallery in Paris and was an art collector himself. The exhibition, which will run through September before moving to Paris, displays more than 200 works that Theo sold and collected during the height of Impressionism, including works by Degas, Gauguin, Monet, Pissaro, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Drawings and paintings by Vincent that had special significance for Theo also are on view. When it was built in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum estimated it would attract about 60,000 visitors a year.

But its popularity soon soared, and by the time it closed for renovations, more than 1 million art lovers a year were touring the museum. During the renovation, more than 140 works from the museum's permanent collection were moved to the nearby Rijksmuseum, while other works traveled to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The exhibition at the National Gallery, titled "Van Gogh's Van Goghs," was attended by more than 480,000 visitors during its 90 days in Washington.

Van Gogh Museum

Phone: (011) 31-20 570-5291

Web: www.vangoghmuseum.nl

E-mail: [email protected]

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