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Construction of the New Liberation Museum has begun. The desired rebuilding can begin, we have a go.

The National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek (municipality of Berg en Dal) is preparing for the future.

The new modern WWII museum will grow from 2,250 m2 to 3,000 m2 and will combine innovative and modern presentation techniques with authenticity, historical objects and personal stories. The museum will have a more international outlook and also gain a strong focus on Germany. Central to the museum will be the story of war and freedom without borders: multiperspective, critical, suspenseful, and inspiring and will make the connection to current themes of freedom, democracy and human rights.

History and location
The Liberation Museum was established in the former buildings of Neeltje Jans in 1987. These buildings were transported from one side of the Netherlands to the other and forged together in Groesbeek to form the current museum which has been through two expansions in the 30 years since its creation. The rich war history of the environment in which the museum is located was essential in the choice to continue the new museum in its current location. The Liberation Museum is the only WWII museum in the Netherlands that is located in the former battlefields of Operation Market Garden and the Rhineland Offensive. The Dutch-German borderland was central to the world stage in the last year of the war, with major consequences for the civilian population. In the spring of 1945 the final push started in this area and led to the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe.

Organisation, collection and visitor’s numbers
The Liberation Museum has a small and efficient organisation which is characterised by a strong tradition of self sufficiency for the past 30 years. The museum has one of the largest WWII collections of the Netherlands with a large national and international reach. This scope is also present in the museum’s presentation, the events organised and the educational programmes, all of which will be more strongly aimed at a broad target audience of students, families, day trippers, foreign tourists and special interest groups in the future. The current Liberation Museum has over 40,000 visitors each year. The expectations for the new museum are that it will receive 80,000 visitors in its opening year and 70,000 yearly in the following years. The Liberation Museum will take on the coordination of remembrance tourism in the region surrounding Nijmegen, uniting dozens of WWII organisations. It will take on this task together with the Information Centre WWII that will be opened in Nijmegen in the same year.

Opening and symbol
The new museum in Groesbeek will be constructed right next to the current building which will remain open until the construction of the new museum is finished. The aim is to open the museum in mid-2019, but at the very least before the start of the remembrance activities of 75 years Operation Market Garden in September 2019. The new building will have a large dome: a so-called Shaded Dome which will call forth images of the thousands of parachutes with which the Airborne soldiers landed in the Nijmegen region in September 1944. The Shaded Dome is a patented building. It is innovative, sustainable and will become a powerful symbol while simultaneously referring to the current smaller Dome of Honour. With the application of the Shaded Dome, the museum will be an eyecatcher, a tourist attraction and a landmark in the green hills surrounding Groesbeek. The Dome will span 60 metres, will be 12 metres tall at its highest point, and will house an entrance hall, cinemas, exhibition spaces, a museum café, and a museum shop. In the building plans a lot of attention has been dedicated to energy transition and the circularity of demolition and construction work. The museum will not work with natural gas and will have a low CO2-footprint (materials, transport, general construction costs).

Financing
For the complete renovation of the building and the exhibition of the new museum €6.5 million (excl. VAT) needed to be invested. We have collected enough funds to cover our project budget. Important financers are the Province of Gelderland, the National Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veterans’ Care (vfonds), Interreg/Euregion Rhine-Waal, the municipality of Berg en Dal, and the VSB Fund. In addition there are private donations and contributions from the Gravin van Bylandt Foundation, Foundation Elise Mathilde Fund, Zabawas, Coöperationfund Rabobank Rijk van Nijmegen, and the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund. Government agencies and foundations have both played a large role in supporting and executing the plans for renovation, which will have an important impact on the museum’s infrastructure, the educational programmes and remembrance tourism. Currently, the museum is still looking for additional funds in amongst others the Netherlands, the United States and Germany.

Construction
The museum has tasked Shaded Dome Technologies with building a Shaded Dome. Shaded Dome Technologies is a corporate collective of Royal HaskoningDHV, ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects and Poly-Ned. ZJA and Royal HaskoningDHV are also responsible for the integral design of the museum. The coordination of the construction is done by ZwinkelsPCM. The following construction companies and subcontracters are involved as well: construction company Janssen-Groesbeek, Nikkelen Elektrotechniek from Groesbeek, Megens Installaties from Druten and Van Kesteren from Groesbeek for demolition and groundwork.

Photo: Shaded Dome Technologies.


National Liberation Museum 1944-1945, Wylerbaan 4, 6561 KR Groesbeek
Facebook: /Bevrijdingsmuseum, Twitter: @LiberationNL


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Please support us in keeping the liberation message alive.

The Liberation Museum receives almost no grants and is kept operational by a few paid staff members and more than 100 volunteers. All financial support is very welcome!

Please send your donations to:
IBAN: NL14RABO0117428876
BIC/SWIFT: RABONL2U
Made payable to: Nationaal Bevrijdingsmuseum 1944-1945

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