Despite Several Setbacks, Dutch National Museum Renovation in Full Swing; to Reopen in 2013

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AMSTERDAM (AP).- Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” and other famed works by Dutch masters will return to their permanent home by 2013, as a radical decade-long renovation of the national Rijksmuseum nears completion. A sneak preview Wednesday showed the 19th-century museum both modernized and closer to its original plan. Its red-brick exterior, reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle, remains intact. Inside, maze-like corridors have been scrapped in favor of large spaces and high ceilings, with a central “gallery of honor” restored to its initial appearance, evoking the vault of a gothic cathedral. Spokesman Boris de Munnick said the design sacrificed some wall space in favor of better flow and simplicity. But the museum also gained space by moving administrative offices offsite and by expanding underground. The museum will house around 7,500 works of art for public viewing, around the same amount as before renovations