In recent months the museum hogging the cultural spotlight in Amsterdam has been the Stedelijk, which opened in December after a nine-year renovation and expansion. (Read Justin Davidson's review.) Many critics have panned its extension, designed by Benthem Crouwel and dubbed the “bathtub.”
But this spring, attention will turn to the $500 million expansion of the Rijksmuseum, which shares a public square with the Stedelijk. It has undergone its own tumultuous 10-year planning, permitting, and building process, plagued by budget overruns and an acrimonious dispute about access for cyclists. Museum director Wim Pijbes, and with him all of the Netherlands, will heave a sigh of relief when it reopens on April 13.