From 8 to 14 April 2019, it’s time for the fifth annual National Museum Week in The Netherlands and the week of cultural festivities was opened today by Dutch astronaut André Kuipers.
What we'll cover in this article
NATIONAL MUSEUM WEEK IN THE NETHERLANDS
Discover Golden Treasures
The theme for the Museumweek is, as every year, “Discover Our True Gold Together” (“Ontdek Samen Ons Echte Goud“), a campaign aimed at drawing people into the museums by showcasing the best items in different collections.
Over 400 museums in The Netherlands put their “golden” treasures in the spotlights, so they will attract not only those who visit the museum regularly, but also anyone that hasn’t been before. Besides the highlights, there are plenty of other events going on all week. There are special events for every type of culture-lover: adults, students in higher education, museum cardholders, children and even specifically for millennials!
As an extra draw, one of the items from the collection gets even more attention, by turning it into a bigger-than-life golden version of itself. This year, Dutch astronaut André Kuipers space suit, from museum Space Expo in Noordwijk, has been the chosen piece.
The Sokol Suit from André Kuipers
Dutch ESA-astronaut André Kuipers wore this Russian ‘pressure suit’ during the critical moments of his space flight on board the Russian Soyuz capsule. On 19 april 2004, he was launched from the Russian launch base Baikonoer in Kazachstan.
Eleven days later, he returned safely back to earth with his fellow cosmonauts. Kuipers wore the Sokol-suit during start, landing and when connecting and disengaging of the Soyuz-capsule with the International Space Station.
You can see Kuiper’s golden space suit all week on the A44 highway between the city of Sassenheim and the real suit all year round at Space Expo in Noordwijk.
Video of the Sokol Suit
Wondering what the real space suit looks like? Check André Kuipers’ story on his own YouTube channel:
See a Moonstone at Museon The Hague
Always wanted to see a piece of the moon in real life? During Museum Week, you not only have the chance to see one of the moonstones, of which only 10 copies exist worldwide, but also touch it. That’s pretty impressive considering the stone is 3.8 billion years old!
The moonstone was taken during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. The Apollo 17 landed in the Taurus-Littrow Valley on the moon on the edge of the Sea of Serenity. Astronauts Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Eugene Cernan brought more than 740 individual rock and soil samples back from this location.
The small Moonstone weighs 25 grams and is of a basalt type. This is a fine-grained, dark-colored solidification rock rich in iron, magnesium and plagioclase feldspar – a common mineral on Earth. Like many other moon basalts, the stone contains more titanium than normal basalts.
Museon is an interactive museum for culture and science with an educational mission and an interdisciplinary approach. The Museon wants to inspire people to discover the world and treat it with respect. You can see the stone at the André Kuiperszaal of the Museon.
Meet The Dutch Museum Association
National Museum Week is an initiative of the Museum Association (de Museumvereniging), the branch organization of more than 400 museums in the Netherlands. Together they work on strengthening the public interest of museums by stimulating a permanent bond with museum collections.
The Museum Association is also the initiator of the digital platform Museum Kids and the Museum Kids Week that takes place annually during the autumn holidays. The association is also the publisher of the Museum card. In 2018, nearly 1.4 million cardholders made 8.9 million visits for which the museums received around 60 million euros.
In our rapidly changing society, museums tell stories that we should not forget. With their collections, museums surprise and enrich visitors, communities and society as a whole. Because only museums tell the whole story together!
Find out more on:
Website Museum Week: www.nationalemuseumweek.nl
Website Museon: www.museon.nl
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