The Hermitage-Amsterdam is a unique exhibition and educational Russian cultural centre, organized in an optimal way, functioning in the Netherlands as an independent legal entity, representing the ideology of the Russian culture in the heart of Europe. This method of cultural expansion is innovative for the world. It has already been adopted by several largest world museums (for instance, the Louvre). At the same time it constitutes a part of the external policy of the Hermitage: centres based on the same principles of independent financing and the Hermitage museum control exists in Kazan, London, Ferrare. The centre in Vyborg is being prepared for the opening. Negotiations on the opening of the Museum of New Art in Vilnius are being carried out.
The cooperation of the Hermitage with the Dutch colleagues in Amsterdam began with programmes for children and exhibitions in the building of the exhibition centre in the Nieuwe Kirk in Amsterdam: The Scythian Gold, Catherine the Great, From Russia with Love, The Stroganovs, The Art of Islam.
In 1994 the foundation Hermitage Friends was established in the Netherlands.
It assisted the Hermitage in realizing such projects as A new
Roof for Rembrandt and New Lighting for Rembrandt (1998,
the opening ceremony was attended by His Royal Highness Prince
The idea of establishing the Hermitage-Amsterdam centre
emerged after the decision to relocate the
Means for reconstruction and museumification of the Amstelhof
and the exhibition activity were donated to the foundation
The main document regulating the cooperation between the State
Hermitage and the Dutch side is an Agreement concluded
between the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation,
the State Hermitage and the
The first stage of the project is the opening of the Hermitage-Amsterdam centre in the Neerlandia building on February 28, 2004
(a wing of the Amstelhof built in the middle
of XIX century and including six exhibition halls with the total
area of 500 m2) and the exhibition
Greek Gold. In total ten exhibitions have been organized,
for which scientific catalogues have been prepared; various educational
programmes for children have been developed and realized basing
on the experience of the State Hermitage, among which
one can mention The Hermitage School, The Hermitage Studio
and The Hermitage Academy for the pupils of Amsterdam,
as well as educational programmes for adults.
The second stage of the project is the opening of the Amstelhof
building which is to host the Hermitage-Amsterdam
centre. The Amstelhof is scheduled to be officially
opened June 20, 2009. The building was erected
The Amstelhof building will be opened with the exhibition
At the Russian Court: Palace and Protocol in the 19th Century,
which will include more than 2000 exhibits from the State Hermitage.
The exhibition will be opened till January 31, 2010.
The expected number of visitors is 320,000 people. After that
the Hermitage-Amsterdam centre will host two big temporary
exhibitions from the State Hermitage on an annual
basis (possibly with the participation of other Russian
The Neerlandia building after the opening of the Amstelhof
will be reconstructed and used entirely for activities
for children. The project Hermitage for Children
includes five art studios, two classes, a canteen and a museum
store. This school centre will be able to host up to 25,000
children per year (both from Amsterdam and from other
cities). It is also planned to organize special excursions
for children at the age
Exhibition projects are regulated by separate agreements in accordance with the standard Russian rules. The State Hermitage receives compensation in the amount of one euro per visitor.