Monday morning mayor Agnes Schaap of Renkum was present at the Airborne museum to help packing the bugle of the British Lieutenant Colonel John Frost for the major inner renovations.
Mayor Schaap: “Today the last phase of the master-plan starts to prepare the museum for the future and that begins with the safe storage of the unique collection. I am looking forward to the final result.”
The first three days of the week the collection in the showcases are removed and stored externally. This operation involves a group of very actively volunteers. Sarah Heijse, managing director: “So many volunteers helping with this major operation shows how involved everyone is. Volunteers even took time off to participate.”
Volunteers Gido Hordijk and Bart Bijl: “In 2009 we helped set up the displays on all floors in three weeks and now we have three days to pack all the collection pieces in a safe way for the upcoming renovation.”
Thursday the construction work will start. The permanent exhibition is completely renovated on the first floor. Current showcases and panels are all removed to make place for the new design. The same applies to the temporary exhibition The Network that makes room for the child exhibition Watership Down.
The Airborne Experience gets a more penetrating character. The underground space will be renovated and expanded. There will be three new scenes which engage visitors more in the operation in September 1944.
New visitors record
Many people came to visit the museum in the last weeks before closure, to see the exhibition The Network. That meant the museum was also visited very well in October, as in previous months. This has resulted in a new visitor record. In 10 months as many as 105 058 people came to the Airborne Museum.
Over 8,000 more than the previous year commemoration in 2014 when 96 965 people visited the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek in a year.
in March 2020, well before the commemoration of 75 years of freedom, the Airborne Museum will reopen. More information is available at airbornemuseum.nl/en/renovation.
The museum is housed in the imposing 19th-century Villa Hartenstein. During the Battle of Arnhem it was the headquarters of the British. At this historic place, stories come together both British, Polish and German soldiers, as citizens. The museum displays a large collection of authentic weapons, documents, movies and photos.
In the Airborne Experience you find yourself literally in the middle of the battle. This underground space will experience in a penetrating way the course of the Battle of Arnhem. In 2019 the Airborne Museum was European Museum Forum nominated for the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award in 2019.