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Celebrity curators creating mini museums for Dutch railway stations

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Waiting rooms at railway stations across the Netherlands are being converted into temporary mini museums in an effort to promote the National Museum of World Culture’s vast unseen collections.

The National Museum of World Cultures – made up of the Tropenmuseum, Africa Museum and Museum of Ethnology – commissioned the project. The three institutions, which since 2014 have acted as one museum on three sites, jointly manage a collection of more than 375,000 objects, with the bulk stored in an underground facility off-limits to the general public.

Showcasing some of the collection they asked five Dutch celebrities to choose their favourite artefacts, which will go on display at the temporary installations.

Television presenter Floortje Dessing was the first celebrity to debut a collection, opening her exhibition on platform 8/9b of Leiden central station last month. Floortje’s museum will be open until 23 July and contains a collection of treasures of the sea, selected by the presenter because the island life in the South Pacific made the most impression on her during her travels.

“When I was asked to take part in a project like this, the only answer I could give was ‘yes’,” said Dessing. "It’s great that we can present the collection in a very special way, offering easy access to a much larger audience.”

The mini museums are free to visit, as they double as waiting rooms, and are open seven days a week from 6AM to midnight.

Following on from Dessing’s museum, singer Kenny B, street soccer player and rapper Soufiane Touzani, presenter Filemon Wesselink and cookbook writer Yvette van Boven will open their own installations at stations in Arnhem, Utrecht, Zwolle and Amsterdam, with each lasting a month.

Dutch design firm NorthernLight are creating the installations, with engineering and production by Bruns BV.

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Waiting rooms at railway stations across the Netherlands are being converted into temporary mini museums in an effort to promote the National Museum of World Culture’s vast unseen collections.
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