By: Tony White Maybe you didn’t even realize it has been closed during its renovation/restoration. Maybe you didn’t even realize the Rijksmuseum is one of the premier museum collections in the world. Or, maybe you did. The Pierre Cuypers designed building, built from 1876 to 1885, has been undergoing renovation and restoration for longer than it originally took to build. The museum has been undergoing renovation and restoration since 2003 and re-opened last week. Only about 400 of the one-million piece permanent collection have been on exhibit during the renovation in the Philips Wing of the museum. Now let’s just say you don’t have plans anytime soon to be in or around Amsterdam. Visiting the Rijksmuseum is out of the question, right? Wrong! Here’s the great news. In preparation of its reopening the Rijksmuseum has launched Rijks Studio. Rijks Studio has 125,000 of the Rijksmuseum’s works available online. The museum is allowing the public to download famous and not-so-famous works of art to manipulate, study, share…whatever to their heart’s desire. Oh, did I mention they were allowing this copyright-free? What? That’s right. The museum’s directors believe the Rijksmuseum is a museum for, and of, everyone. Taco Dibbits, director of collections said, “The collection inspires, we want to unleash the artist in everyone.” So while you’re saving up for your trip to see the Rijksmuseum and its works in person, get creative. Bags, iPhone covers, wall-coverings, umbrellas, and blog entry photos are just some ideas, Rijks Studio has some other ideas here. Go have some fun. What will you create? Oh, and if you want to see some of the before and after pics of the restoration and renovation, check them out at the architects’, Cruz y Ortiz, website.