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Restoring Rembrandt

The Night Watch to be restored as museum visitors watch.

Beginning on July 8, 2019, a delicate and innovative restoration process will begin on one of the world’s most celebrated masterpieces, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch.  A team of researchers, conservators, restorers and colour specialists from AkzoNobel will employ a series of ground-breaking tools, while the 377-year-old painting remains on view through a special glass chamber at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Visitors, as well as the rest of the world, will be able to watch the scientists up close through live, online streaming.

Special scanners will examine cracks and crevices while pigments will be examined at the nano level using a hi-tech laser. Over 11,000 photographs will be taken with a resolution of 5,430 dpi during the three-year partnership between AkzoNobel and the Rijksmuseum.

“We’re about to rock the world of paintings conservation and do things that have never been attempted before,” says Robert van Langh, the Rijksmuseum’s Head of Conservation and Science. “We’re confident we’ll take our understanding of paint to the next level – and I don’t just mean one level, I’m talking three or four levels.”

Thierry Vanlancker and Taco Dibbits

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