Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes stepping down

Wim Pijbes. foto Vincent Mentzel 2013
Wim Pijbes. (Photo: Vincent Mentzel/Rijksmuseum). (Wim Pijbes. (Photo: Vincent Mentzel/Rijksmuseum))

Wim Pijbes is stepping down as director of the Rijksmuseum as of August 1st. He will be taking a job as general manager for Voorlinden, a new contemporary art museum and adjoining nature reserve between Scheveningen and Wassenaar, the museum announced on Tuesday.

In the press release about his resignation, Pijbes states that he worked at the museum with much pleasure and commitment. "I was allowed to give leadership at one of the finest museums in the world and to open the Rijksmuseum with a fantastic team of enthusiastic colleagues." he said. "The Rijksmuseum is in the hearts and minds of the public and that is makes me very grateful."

Pijbes started as director of the Rijksmuseum on July 1st, 2008. For the first five years he was mainly devoted to completely renovating, expanding and reopening the museum. After its reopening in April 2013, the museum's visitor count doubled to 2.4 million visitors last year.

The Supervisory Board regrets his departure, "but can not help but respect his decision", the board writes in the museum's announcement. "Wim Pijbes has, with his famous boundless energy and commitment, played a crucial role in forming the Rijksmuseum into what it is today: a world-class museum. Great appreciation and thanks go out to him." said chairman Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.