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King Willem-Alexander views artworks from the roof of the palace on Dam Square.

King Willem-Alexander views artworks from the roof of the palace on Dam Square.

King Willem-Alexander opened an exhibition at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on Thursday where the statues that would normally be on the roof of the palace can be seen on Dam Square. The king was the first visitor to tour the works of art.

One of the first items the king saw was the meter-high Imperial Crown. The copper works remained on the roof of the palace until last week. It is clear that the crown still needs restoration: there are cracks and holes and the crown has turned green due to oxidation. When it is placed back on the palace, just like the other three crowns on the roof, the Imperial Crown will once again shine thanks to a layer of gold leaf.

The king also saw that the weather vane had already been restored. The gilded weather vane stands out in the corridors surrounding the palace’s Citizens’ Hall. The nearly two-metre-high weather vane dates back to 1665 and was removed from the roof at the end of last year after a hundred years of renovation. The ship-shaped artwork usually stands at a height of 60 metres, making it the highest point in the palace.

Prudentia

The largest piece in the exhibit is the Prudentia, which is usually on the surface of the side of the dam. The copper statue is about four meters high and weighs 3,000 kilograms. The curator asked the king and the guests to think about the people who put it here when they see the statue. With the restoration of the statue, Prudentia, along with the snake and mirror, returned to Earth for the first time since the 17th century. The statue has now been restored and thus returned to its original dark colour.

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‘High! Look up. The Roof Full of Stories, as the exhibition is called, can be visited daily until September 22. The restoration of the palace’s roof is being carried out on behalf of the National Real Estate Agency, which owns the national monument, and is scheduled for completion in 2026.