Holland’s Rijksmuseum wanted to celebrate 10 million visitors since its 2013 reopening after a 10-year renovation.
So the museum turned itself into a hotel for one night for one lucky patron.
Museum Director Taco Dibbits thought of the American movie “Night at the Museum,” and decided that would be the prize: the lucky recipient would dine on a Michelin-starred menu, then spend the night alone among some of the world’s greatest masterpieces.
No guards, no guests, just one lucky person and all that art.
The 10 millionth turned out to be Stefan Kasper, a Dutch artist and teacher. He was fed, a bed was set up in a second-floor gallery, and he was left alone for the night, to do what he liked.
“There was no guards, nothing, nobody was there but me. I walked around the museum in my socks, just like at home,” said Kasper. “I watched a lot of different paintings, but I watched the most, I spent the most hours with ‘The Night Watch.'”
Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” is one of the world’s most famous paintings.
Painted in 1642, the canvas is gigantic—11 feet by 14 feet—and features a band of armed men about to set out to patrol the streets of the city. The painting features a total of 34 characters, each an individual member of the actual troop of guards who commissioned the work.
“After 10 years of major renovation, the Rijksmuseum opened its doors four years ago and in these four years we had 10 million visitors,” said Museum Director Taco Dibbits.
“The number is just incredible, and we felt that for the 10 millionth visitor we wanted to do something really special.
“We felt there should be 1 in every 10 million people who gets the opportunity not only to fall asleep with ‘The Night Watch,’ but also to wake up under the world’s most famous picture.”