Van Gogh Museum closing 6 months for renovations

By the Associated Press | June 24, 2011 | 5:44 AM EDT

In this photo released by the The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, shows a self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh dated 1887. The van Gogh museum says another one of Vincent van Gogh's paintings previously thought to be a self-portrait actually depicts his brother, Theo. Museum spokewsoman Linda Snoek says the portrait was made in 1887 while the pair lived together in Paris, a lesser-known period of Van Gogh's life, since the bulk of information about the famously troubled painter is derived from letters he sent to Theo. The painting has long been in storage, but goes on display at the museum in Amsterdam Tuesday as part of an exhibition on the painter's time spent in Antwerp and Paris in 1885-1888. (AP Photo/Van Gogh Museum) NO SALES, NO COMMERCIAL USE

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Van Gogh Museum says it is shutting its doors for six months for renovations starting next year, the latest major Dutch museum to close for reconstruction.

Director Axel Rueger said Friday the museum's most important paintings will move to the Hermitage Amsterdam so they can still be viewed during the work, scheduled to last from October 2012 through March 2013.

The nearby Rijksmuseum and Stedelijkmuseum both have been undergoing major renovations for years but have kept the best parts of their collections on display at other locations.

The Van Gogh Museum, which has some 1.5 million visitors each year, opened in 1973 on Amsterdam's central Museumplein.

Its original building was designed by renowned Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld.