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More than two and a half million people come and see it each year. It belongs to everybody who lives in the Netherlands, and the world. And we felt that the public has the right to see what happens to that painting.
To gain a better understanding of [the painting’s] condition as a whole, the decision has been taken to conduct a thorough examination. This detailed study is necessary to determine the best treatment plan, and will involve imaging techniques, high-resolution photography and highly advanced computer analysis. Using these and other methods, we will be able to form a very detailed picture of the painting—not only of the painted surface, but of each and every layer, from varnish to canvas.