Renovation of the Maritime Museum On 8 January 2007, the Netherlands Maritime Museum Amsterdam closed its doors for a major renovation that will take more than two years. Upon completion, the refurbished Maritime Museum will be ready for the future. In the years after the Museum first opened, the annual number of visitors was around 40,000. At present, 200,000 people visit each year. The layout and interior will have to change to cope with this increase. Moreover, the Museum reckons the number of visitors might double in the coming years. What museum visitors want has also changed. They wish to make shorter visits and be able to have a choice in what they want to see. The building itself was also in need of renovation. The Maritime Museum is the last national museum without climate control. High time, therefore, to install such a system. 'The market has changed radically', explains museum director Willem Bijleveld, 'and different audience groups require different modes of presentation. Particularly with young people, creating a vivid experience is the key to success. If we don't change now, visitor numbers will undoubtedly go down again in the coming years'. And after 350 years, the building is certainly in need of a facelift. After the reconstruction, visitors will first enter the courtyard, where they can select an exhibition of their choice. The layout will present different routes to different exhibitions, so that visitors can choose how they want to experience maritime history. One group may opt for an exhibition that centres on specific objects, for example globes or paintings. Another group will want to undergo history more directly, for example by actually standing, as it were, in the Behouden Huys. The courtyard, which will be given a glass roof supported by a metal frame, is to become the heart of the museum. From there, visitors can choose the way in which they wish to experience what the museum has to offer. The shops, party rooms and catering facilities can also be accessed directly from the courtyard. During the renovation, the East Indiaman Amsterdam will remain open to the public. It will, however, be towed to the NEMO science centre.