Dick Bruna Huis to become Nijntje museum

One of the Nijntje books created by Utrechter Dick Bruna (freek Young/Twitter). (One of the Nijntje books created by Utrechter Dick Bruna (freek Young/Twitter))

The Dick Bruna Huis is being converted into a museum devoted to Nijntje, the illustrated rabbit beloved by Dutch children. Centraal Museum Utrecht announced the news on Wednesday at a presentation about the iconic bunny's 60th birthday.

Nijnjte, or Miffy as she is called in English, will have been around for 60 years on June 21. She is the creation of Utrecht illustrator, graphic designer and writer Dick Bruna.

The Dick Bruna Huis, which has been part of the Centraal Museum since 2006, holds a 7,000-work collection, including children's books, book covers and poster designs by Bruna. It will be dismantled and rebuilt within the new Nijntje museum, with renovations expected to begin on July 6 and run until mid-December.

Marja Kerkhof, director of Mercis Publishing, which publishes Bruna's books and holds the rights to related merchandise, said she was delighted to be celebrating Nijnte's 60th birthday. "We have been able to build a very nice brand," she said at the museum's press conference on Wednesday, "although 'brand' is not a word that would come from Dick Bruna's mouth."

Various activities have been planned to pay homage to the ubiquitous rabbit. Legendary Dutch performer Herman van Even translated the book "Nijntje op de fiets" into Utregs, a dialect spoken in the city of Utrecht. PostNL will be issuing a special Nijntje stamp each month. A Nijntje children's musical will premier in February at Utrecht venue TivoliVredenburg.

Running from May 1 to September 30, the Nijntje Art Parade will exhibit 60 artists' renditions of Nijntje across indoor and outdoor spaces in Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Japan, where she is also popular. The images will be auctioned on October 8, with proceeds going to UNICEF.

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