On 13 September I went to see Queen Máxima of the Netherlands opening the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. I have visited the old museum several times, so I was quite interested to see what it looks like now. Thanks to a huge legacy of architect Abe Bonnema the museum could build a new museum on the Zaailand square in the centre of Leeuwarden. I must say the building is wonderful with lots of glass, and the square hasn’t looked so great in many years.
Queen Máxima arrived at 11am and was welcomed with a poem in Frisian and Dutch. Máxima didn’t understand much of the Frisian text, and was clearly happy it was read to her in Dutch also later on. Queen Máxima toured the museum for about one hour, learning more about the history of the Frisian people in Friesland. She also had a look at art by Frisian artists and I am sure she must have caught a glimpse of the history of her husband’s family also.
Finally at noon the Queen came outside with museum director Saskia Bak. In front of the museum she enjoyed a concert by singer Iris Kroes. Then Queen Máxima was invited to climb the stage. She had to remove a seal and a ribbon around a box. When it opened the huge sword of the Frisian historical hero “Grutte Pier” appeared. Red, silver and blue ribbons fell out of the air on top of the guests, audience and press.
After the opening Queen Máxima went back inside and left soon. After lunch I had a visit at the museum myself, which opened its doors for free soon after Máxima had left. I love the building. There is lots of light inside and it is spacy. On the top floor there is a lovely view on the city. What I like less is the modern way of exhibiting items. To me it seems there is far too little on display of the huge collection the museum has.