Chemistry is ... Innovation in Art

'The Night Watch', Rembrandt´s 377-Year old Painting, is Undergoing an Innovative Restoration

  • AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker and Taco Dibbits, general director of the Rijksmuseum, symbolically sign the partnership agreement in front of The Night Watch © AkzoNobelAkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker and Taco Dibbits, general director of the Rijksmuseum, symbolically sign the partnership agreement in front of The Night Watch © AkzoNobel

'The Night Watch', Rembrandt´s 377-year old painting, will undergo an innovative restoration. In a fusion of old and new, Operation Night Watch will employ a series of ground-breaking tools and techniques to carry out a major investigation and restoration and it will happen with the world watching. A project team from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will work in close collaboration with AkzoNobel color specialists, among others. They will be encased in a special glass chamber, which has been constructed in front of the painting to ensure it can remain on display for museum visitors.

The initial research phase will involve taking thousands of ultra-high-resolution photographs and employ sophisticated scanners and lasers to investigate the artwork at microscopic levels. Once the research phase is over, the data collected will be analyzed to determine the best way to proceed in terms of restoring The Night Watch for generations to come. 'Operation Night Watch' will unfold with visitors being able to see the scientists up close, while the whole thing will be streamed live online.

The Rijksmuseum – which attracted more than two million visitors in 2018 – owns the world’s biggest and most representative collection of Rembrandts. The public can watch the restoration of The Night Watch as it happens by visiting www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/nightwatch.

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