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Five tips for Museum Night Leiden

Museum Night on Saturday 28 May is a good opportunity to discover the unique museums in Leiden. Thirteen museums will open their doors and give visitors the chance to experience these locations in a different light.

In contrast to other museum nights in the Netherlands, Museum Night Leiden is a collaboration between students and museums.  Under the umbrella of the Museum Night Leiden Foundation, 16 students from A.L.S.V. Quintus organise a night that is open to all.

‘The students are partnered with a museum and they put on a programme together,’ says committee member Joris Oosterbeek, who is responsible for PR. ‘It’s great fun. You organise something for all of Leiden, beyond even. To organise such a large-scale, high-quality event is fantastic as a student.’

Déjà vu

Oosterbeek is enthusiastic about this year’s programme, the theme of which is déjà vu. He is particularly looking forward to the lecture about elephants’ colonial memory in Museum Volkenkunde. And the performance by singer-songwriter Melle in the Hortus will also be a highlight, he says.

There is something for everyone in the programme, Oosterbeek says. ‘There are not only experiments and lectures but also performances, workshops and other activities. There’s something for young and old. That’s the strength of Museum Night Leiden.’ Below is a selection from the programme.

Biologist Auke-Florian Hiemstra

Auke-Florian and the curious case of the coots’ nests

Coots have been building their nests from more than twigs and reeds alone for a long time now.  They use all sorts of rubbish. Biologist Auke-Florian Hiemstra studies coots’ constructions from Leiden city centre and discovers all sorts of things: windscreen wipers, sunglasses and cocaine envelopes. He will explain all about this in his microlecture.

Treasure or trash?

Is it a meteorite or not? Is it a dinosaur bone or not? Naturalis experts Hansjorg Ahrends and Alice van Duijn will shine a light on unique nature finds on Museum Night.

Operating theatre of the future

Always wanted to know what it’s like to be a surgeon? Come and operate with the latest medical technology under the guidance of experts. Together with researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and different companies active in the field of medical technology, CORPUS will introduce you to various innovative surgical technologies.

Old Observatory. Photo: Simone Both

Guided tour of Old Observatory

This year the Old Observatory, the oldest existing university observatory in the world, will open its doors once again on Museum Night. Join a guided tour and take a look inside the domes and maybe even through the telescopes.

The song of Achilles

We know Achilles as a Greek superhero from the epic battle for Troy. His heroic story is timeless, but how does it look through the eyes of his friend and lover Patroclus? Dive into the world of ‘The Song of Achilles’, the bestseller about war, loyalty, friendship, love and sorrow, with Achilles specialists Tazuko van Berkel and Farida Batenburg (Leiden University) for a déjà vu with the bravest hero of them all.

See the full Leiden Museum Night programme here.

Banner photo: Monique Shaw

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