March 16, 2021

Someone recreated Amsterdam in Cities Skylines and it’s amazing

Filed under: Design,Gaming,General by Orangemaster @ 10:34 am

A video by SEB Urban Design provides an overview of Amsterdam recreated in video game Cities Skylines. It claims to include all tourist destinations, parks and transport. The goal was to strive for realism and a close simulation of the real situation (the tram sounds are spot on).

Besides praise, we’re all wondering how long this took and we’ve noticed things we’d like to add. There’s some nice lingering on the Rijksmuseum, a very different take on Dam Square and a beautifully uncluttered Amsterdam Central Station. The canal houses are straight, the streets are super clean and you need to watch this video.

The two main parks near 24oranges HQ are there, and that’s good enough for us.

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May 24, 2019

Man with Night Watch tattoo sees real artwork

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 3:25 pm


Fifty-one-year-old Dutchman Marko Bak from Nieuw-Lekkerland, South Holland, who has Rembrandt’s The Night Watch tattooed on his back, and his tattoo artist Richard van Meerkerk both finally saw the artwork at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for the very first time.

Bak said that he wasn’t a museum kind of guy, and that the tattoo was done as a bit of a joke, but then grew into a real art project. When Bak met Van Meerkerk, he told him “If ever you have nothing to do you, you can tattoo The Night Wacht on my back.” And that’s what happened.

The tattoo is not an exact copy, as some of the faces were replaced by ones from Bak’s friends and family. I can imagine that it’s not every day that someone shows up with The Night Wacht (aka Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq) on their back, making this quirky news.

And here’s the Dutch item on video:

(Link:, Photo: Stefan Kasper’s instagram)

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November 13, 2017

Rijksmuseum scanner to be used to solve crimes

Filed under: Art,General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:08 pm
The mobile macro-XRF scanner (Bruker M6 Jetstream) developed by the University of Antwerp and Delft University of Technology

The mobile macro-XRF scanner (Bruker M6 Jetstream) developed by the University of Antwerp and Delft University of Technology

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam uses a Macro-X-ray Fluorescence scanner (MA-XRF, similar to this one) to analyse the different chemical elements found in the paint of artworks, making it possible to identify the pigments used and providing more specific information about the stages of the working process. This also helps museums identify whether a painting is really from a certain painter, not something left to the naked eye anymore, thanks to technology.

The Nederlands Forensisch Instituut (NFI – Dutch Forensics Institute) will be collaborating with the Rijksmuseum to use the scanner in order to find evidence material with a view to solve crimes. Besides identifying pigments, the scanner can identify blood, sweat, saliva, urine and sperm on things such as clothing, and can even analyse bullets.

Scientists from the NFI, the University of Amsterdam and the Delft University of Technology published results about using the scanner for solving crimes last week. The NFI doesn’t have its own scanner simply because it’s very expensive. And until the NFI can get their hands on one, they’ll be coming round to the museum when they need to use the scanner. And yes, it does sounds like many a television series’ plot.

A little finch just told me that the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague will be borrowing a scanner just like this to analyse Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring in the new future, but then just to find out more about the painting, not to solve any crime.

(Link: , Photo and a good read:

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September 25, 2017

Misspelled Dunglish city slogan for Hilversum

Filed under: Art,General by Orangemaster @ 11:38 am


In 2012, the world-famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam decided to adopt the improper use of a space between words and go with Rijks Museum, which was ‘designerplained’ as “everybody already says ‘Rijks’ as a nickname, the spelling just codifies it”.

But now Hilversum, Utrecht has gone one step further and used dyslexic-looking Dunglish spelling to make a point that falls flat with most Dutch folks who have commented on this marketing move.

Firstly, using some sort of English instead of Dutch to try to be cool and international while sadly rejecting one’s own language like a piece of trash will never win my favour. Secondly, ‘live’ could be live (verb) or ‘live’ (live television), which has a different pronunciation. You’re now confusing people for no reason. ‘We live here’ is a clear message, but not by playing jumble with the letters making up the word ‘Hilversum’ and then putting them back right for the URL. And the URL should read hilversumlive and not livehilversum, ideally, to make a strong point (or something like livefromhilversum).

A quick poll on the source link below says 77% of people thought it was shite. The problem remains that you cannot rewrite English to suit non-English people and expect English speakers (they said they wanted to appeal to visitors), people with English as a second-language other than Dutch speakers (imagine Japanese) and Dutch speakers to read this without getting a headache. If 77% liked it you could call it a success, but that’s not the case.

(Link and image:

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July 10, 2017

Bike path under Rijksmuseum is making millions

Filed under: Bicycles,General by Orangemaster @ 10:06 am

The bike path under Amsterdam’s world famous Rijksmuseum has turned into a veritable cash cow for the city. Although it is illegal for scooters and mopeds to use this bike path, between November 2014 and January 2017 no less than 27,000 fines of 90 euro were issued to these tenacious road users caught on camera, amounting to a staggering 2.4 million euro in fines.

The city has even put more obvious signs, but it’s not working. A few days ago, local TV station AT5 stood outside there for an hour and a half and saw four scooters get fined at what is now 95 euro a pop.

What’s the big deal? Well, even back in 2003 when the bike path was being renovated, there were discussions about making it off limits to cyclists, but the museum was quickly struck down on that point. The path had been open to cyclists for ages, so that wasn’t going to fly. However, making it illegal for scooters and mopeds was acceptable, but obviously not everyone thinks it applies to them.

Here’s our previous story about it: bike path under Rijksmuseum and read its entire glorious history from Bicycle Dutch.


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June 26, 2017

Radioactive items discovered in antique cupboard

Filed under: Animals,Art,History by Orangemaster @ 11:17 am


An 18th century collector’s cupboard with mostly apothecary items apparently had 56 hidden drawers at the back of it, with all kinds of objects in them, some of which have turned out to be radioactive.

During the renovations of the museum a few years ago, the cupboard was properly restored and cleaned. After a thorough inspection of all the drawers, experts found some uranium, a common material used for colouring glass back then. Radioactivity was only discovered in the 20th century by Henri Becquerel, although Marie Curie eventually coined the term.

Researchers found almost 2000 different bits of flora in the drawers, including seeds, flowers, roots, animal parts, rocks, minerals and fossils, all used to entertain guests of the unknown original owner. The cupboard is two metres high and was made around 1730 in Amsterdam. It was moved to England soon after and bought back by the Rijksmuseum from an art dealer in 1956.

The curious cupboard is currently on display at the Rijksmuseum.

(Link and photo:

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June 2, 2017

Lucky winner spends night in Rijksmuseum

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 4:44 pm


The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam had a contest going where a lucky winner could spend a night at the museum in front of Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ or as it is really called, ‘Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq’.

Teacher and artist Stefan Kasper, 33, from Haarlem was visiting the Rijksmuseum with his class of elementary students and turned out to be the museum’s ten millionth visitor since they reopened in 2013. He was escorted to a gallery where he was greeted with trumpet sounds and some 200 employees of the museum when he was given the great news.

Kasper noticed the sign at the entrance about the contest, but didn’t pay much attention to it. He spent a “fantastic” night at the museum in what seems to be a comfortable spot right in front of the world-famous painting.

And instead of just falling asleep he decided to enjoy this “moment of euphoria that nobody else will get to have” by sleeping two hours and then walking around the museum in his socks. The silence in the museum was very enjoyable, Kasper explains. “This is history”, he said.

(Link:, Photo: Stefan Kasper’s instagram)

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June 20, 2016

Swiss company gives 19th century Amsterdam colour

Filed under: History,Photography by Orangemaster @ 4:58 pm


Thanks to the magic of photochromy, the art of reproducing colours by photography, the company Photoglob from Zurich, Switzerland lets us enjoy colour pictures of Amsterdam taken between 1890 and 1900, which were originally black and white.

Thanks to RTVNH having a slow news moment, you can enjoy more pictures of Amsterdam including the Amstel river, Central Station, the Rijksmuseum, and a few more by following the link below.

(Link:, Photo of Dam Square, Amsterdam by Unknown, some rights reserved)

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May 26, 2016

Dutch master has mobile phone in it

Filed under: Art,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:35 pm

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been working in Amsterdam this week, and he also decided to soak up some culture by visiting the Rijksmuseum with former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Cook’s eye fell on a painting from 1670 entitled ‘Man handing a letter to a woman in the entrance hall of a house’ by Pieter de Hooch, where the letter looks a bit like a mobile phone. Cook did think it was a Rembrandt because well, why not, and he also thought the letter looked like an iPhone, when it fact it looks more like a smaller type of mobile phone if you ask me.

Until January this year the Mauritshuis in The Hague had an exhibition entitled ‘Dutch Self-Portraits – Selfies of the Golden Age, which definitely has a mobile phone quality to it.

(Link: www.at5, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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December 9, 2015

Rijksmuseum to remove slurs from art descriptions

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 12:59 pm

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has kicked off a project to remove hurtful ethnic designations in the descriptions of hundreds of thousands of objects and replace them with neutral terms. Why now? Because with the digitisation of the collection, more and more people aren’t too fond of the Rijksmuseum’s “traditional Eurocentric view” of the world, as the museum calls it. The Rijksmuseum also says that their staff is very positive about the changes, which has not led to any discussions, contrary to what often plays out in the Dutch media.

A Dutch word like ‘neger’, which ranges in meaning depending on context (‘negro’, ‘nigger’, ‘black man’, etc.), can be seen in thousands of artwork descriptions as ‘bosneger’, which isn’t too far from ‘jungle bunny’, but literally means ‘jungle/forest negro’. For example, a ‘black negro girl’ (why the tautology?) on a early 20th century photograph by Hendrik Doyer is now called ‘Surinamese girl’. The goal is to remove the emphasis on colour as the defining factor and it sounds good so far. Next to disappear will be all the slurs for tribes from around the world.

(Link:, Photo:

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