Watch The Live Restoration Of Rembrandt’s Iconic “Night Watch”

1562694704312 nightwatch rijksmuseum. 001 - watch the live restoration of rembrandt’s iconic "night watch"The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is the most important art museum in the Netherlands, holding the most important Dutch painting in the Netherlands by the man who many people consider the most important Dutch painter in history. Obviously, the significance of “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt cannot be overstated, which is why the museum is planning a never-before-seen approach to restoration, which actually doubles as a powerful museum experience.

On June 24th, the Rijksmuseum announced that the “Night Watch,” a huge painting measuring 12.5 feet by 15 feet and weighing 740 pounds, would undergo restoration. They posted an image on Instagram showing that the wall where “The Night Watch” has traditionally hung was clear:
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Where did the Night Watch go? Don’t panic! Rembrandt’s masterpiece has not disappeared but was moved last night for the first time since 2013. The world-renowned painting will be on view in one of the cabinets in the Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour for the next two weeks. On 8 July, we will launch Operation Night Watch, the most comprehensive and multi-faceted research and conservation project of the Night Watch ever conducted. In the meantime, we are building a glass chamber where the painting will be on view during the operation. Stay tuned for all the updates!

The Rijksmuseum seems to think restoring paintings isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Restoring paintings on livestream. This is what “Operation Night Watch” has been all about. The painting has been put back in its place and glass walls have been built around it, a common museum practice that allows visitors to witness the restoration of paintings live. “Operation Night Watch” is different, however, in that it will use social media to livestream the restoration process, which implies a step forward in using technology to expand the museum experience for anyone around the world with access to internet. “Operation Night Watch has started! It’s the biggest and most wide-ranging research and restoration project in the history of Rembrandt’s masterpiece. Join the exclusive Q&A with experts Katrien Keune & Susan Smelt, 5 pm CET live on Instagram.”
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The Rijksmuseum gets 2 million visitors a year, most of which are eager to see “The Night Watch.” This painting is the iconic image of Dutch militia, nicknamed “The Night Watch.” The official name of the painting, however, is much longer, albeit lesser known: “Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq” and it depicts one of Amsterdam’s civil guard companies. Now, this famous company will be restored back to its glory days, and you can see it happening here, from anywhere in the world.

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