This year we will be celebrating 400 years of friendship between the Netherlands and America. Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen met with his New York City counterpart mayor Michael Bloomberg on 28 January 2009 to launch NY400. The press conference was in New York, with a live video feed to Amsterdam. Watch the the press conference here.
A multitude of cultural and economic exchanges commemorating the anniversary of
Henry Hudson’s arrival on the island of Manhattan, will take place in both countries throughout the year. A shared history is celebrated, as well as our shared DNA – or core values: freedom, tolerance and the pursuit of happiness.
New York City, once New Amsterdam, will receive a gift from the Netherlands in the form of a futuristic pavilion designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio, Amsterdam. The pavilion will be constructed on the newly dedicated Nieuw Amsterdam Plein.
Throughout the whole year, New York and Amsterdam will exchange everything from maps and tulips, artwork and musicians, designers and orchestras to festivals and water management ideas. They’ve even organised job swaps and a conference to exchange ideas on urban health policies.
Van Gogh’s Starry Nights will return to the Netherlands for the first time in February. The masterpiece will form the centrepiece of the exhibition, Van Gogh and the Colours of the Night. In March, the First Lady of New York, Mrs. Michelle Paige Paterson will join Queen Beatrix in opening the Keukenhof.
The official kick-off of events in the Netherlands will take place early April, marking the exact time Hudson departed on his epic journey. Called ‘New York Nights’, celebrations here will include several exhibitions, conferences, policy exchanges, dance parties, musicals, comedy and design events. For the full programme visit the website www.ny400.nl.
Press release - City of Amsterdam - 13 February 2009