CCTV9英语新闻:'The Girl With a Pearl Earring' returns to Mauritshuis

Painting "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" has returned home to the Netherlands after a huge renovation project at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague. The masterpiece, along with other famous works, has been re-hung in preparation for the museum's re-opening.

It's described as the "icon" of the Mauritshuis Museum.

Johannes Vermeer's 1665 masterpiece "The Girl With a Pearl Earring" has finally come home. After a two-year global tour that drew record crowds in Japan, Italy and the United States, the painting is back in the Netherlands.

"The Girl With a Pearl Earring, which is increasingly called the 'Mona Lisa of the North,' really is the icon of the Mauritshuis, there's no denying it. She's world famous, she was a great ambassador during the world tour. But what we notice is people may come to see the girl, but they stay for the rest," Mauritshuis Museum's director Emilie Gordenker said.

Other works at the museum include one of Rembrandt's first major masterpieces - "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp," which depicts a public dissection that took place in 1632.

In the same vein, the 1654 "Goldfinch" by Carel Fabritius was not well known outside art circles, until Donna Tartt published her Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name.

The Netherlands' 17-century Golden Age collection also includes works by Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Peter Paul Rubens, which have all taken their places once again at the Mauritshuis.

"So in a way you look through the lens of history but you recognise yourself and your surroundings and the things that you are going through in those paintings. So, it's really a fascinating experience. The quality of these paintings is extraordinary high. So it's a joy to look at how they are made," Gordenker said.

The museum's overall collection is 800 strong.

The museum has also acquired a second building across the street, and connected it to the rest of the collection via a massive underground foyer. The new wing houses temporary exhibitions, the museum shop, library and a cafe.

The Mauritshuis is setting its sights on increasing annual visitor numbers from 200,000 to 250,000 a year, after the museum re-opens on July 27.