The Netherlands: Ceremony for the Musuem Oud Amelisweerd held

On 7 October 2016, the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2016 was presented to the Museum Oud Amelisweerd (MOA) in Bunnik, Utrecht, in front of an audience of 200 people. Truze Lodder, former Treasurer of Europa Nostra, and Maria Silvia Gatta, Head of Politics at the European Commission Representation in The Netherlands, spoke at the event. The Awards plaque was unveiled by Kees Geldof, the City of Utrecht’s Alderman for Heritage and Monuments, and Susan Lammers, Director of Knowledge and Advice of the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency. The festivities were accompanied by a musical performance by students of the HKU Utrecht School of Music, which included a beautiful arrangement of the European anthem: ‘Alle Menschen werden Brüder’.

Ceremony for Museum Oud Amelisweerd, the Netherlands, 07-10-2016Oud Amelisweerd country house – one of the top 100 listed historic buildings in the Netherlands – was transferred to the management of Stichting Museum Oud Amelisweerd in August 2012, bringing to an end many years of disuse and intermittent occupation and allowing for it to be restored. Architect Krijn van den Ende elaborated on the restoration of the manor. After this, he expressed his admiration for the cooperation with SODA (Ronald Buïel en Jorrit Noyons), which designed the museum interior, the various specialists at Eindhoven University of Technology and the Cultural Heritage Agency, as well as the City of Utrecht and the Stichting Museum Oud Amelisweerd, which commissioned the restoration. Van den Ende praised these parties for their ever respectful attitude towards the historical mansion.

Former Europa Nostra’s Treasurer Truze Lodder also praised the restoration work: “The excellent way the house was restored in combination with its redesign convinced the Jury to select Oud Amelisweerd as the recipient of the award. The collection that is now open to the public consists of the house itself, which kept its authenticity, the rare Chinese wallpapers, especially commissioned for the house, and other seventeenth- and nineteenth century paper and textile wall decorations, in synergy with Armando’s splendid art. This way the history of the house is interconnected throughout the centuries and given new relevance in the present. The house literally lives with the seasons, as it always has. The visitors’ imagination is given all the space it needs. Only the minimum of technique has been incorporated in order to regulate humidity and natural light is used in an inventive way.”

The ceremony also saw the opening of the exhibition ‘Louis Napoleon – Tragic Ruler’, which tells the regretful story of King Louis’ reign. The themes power, struggle and melancholy are explored through various historical objects and works of art that are presented alongside work by Armando to exhibit the life of a king who would have preferred to be a writer. The exhibition will run until 5 March 2017.

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