Ernst Veen, director of Hermitage Amsterdam and De Nieuwe Kerk, announces his retirement

The boards of the national foundations responsible for De Nieuwe Kerk and the Hermitage Amsterdam announced today that Ernst Veen will resign as director at the end of 2011, by which time he will have reached the pensionable age of 65. In the years ahead, Veen will remain actively involved in both foundations as an adviser to the board.

Ernst Veen has been the director of De Nieuwe Kerk since 1981. Over the past thirty years, he has overseen the production of numerous high-profile exhibitions in partnership with museums around the world, as well as concerts, debates, and other cultural and social initiatives. In the process, De Nieuwe Kerk has earned a unique place in the life of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. As a national institution, De Nieuwe Kerk is also the site of memorial ceremonies and special celebrations.

In 1991, Veen began to build a unique relationship with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. One of the fruits of this relationship has been the establishment of the Hermitage Amsterdam, where he played an essential role as initiator and driving force and has served as director since 2004. The exhibitions at the Hermitage Amsterdam have drawn large numbers of visitors from the Netherlands and elsewhere, especially since June 2009, when the entire renovated Amstelhof complex was put into use. The institution is also of no small significance for relations between the Netherlands and Russia.

The boards of the two foundations believe that over the past years Ernst Veen, more than any other individual, has exemplified the widely promoted ideal of the cultural entrepreneur. The search for a successor will begin soon; details of the process are expected to be made public in the autumn of this year.

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