The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is set to undergo a number of major renovations over the next two years, including an expansion. The museum, which attracts around 1.3 million visitors each year, will remain open throughout, with its executive director confirming that the authentic character of the house will remain intact.
Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who went into hiding to escape persecution from the Nazis. She and seven others hid in a secret annex in a building owned by her father’s company, but they were discovered after two years and sent to concentration camps. The diary Anne Frank kept during her time in hiding was later found and the secret annex became a museum.
As part of the renovation work, the museum entrance will be expanded and more space developed for school groups and visitor facilities. Other improvements include a number of new displays that the owners hope will contribute to the historical awareness of WWII and the Holocaust as well as the emotional experience of those hiding in the secret annex.
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Speaking about the news, Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, said: ‘many of our visitors are aged under 25, and come from countries outside of Europe. So it’s important to go deeper into the historical context and the background to the life story of Anne Frank in the museum.
‘We’ll be giving more information on what happened during the Second World War and the Holocaust, how it could happen, and what this means for us today. We’ll also go deeper into the history of the time spent in hiding and the key figures in the house. But of course we will retain the authentic character of the house: experience and meaning will always be our priorities.’