Amsterdam - Rembrandt van Rijn's masterpiece The Night Watch is back in pride of place at the newly renovated National Museum of the Netherlands, along with works by Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and thousands of other Dutch cultural and artistic artefacts, as the museum prepares to reopen after a massive 10-year, 375-million euro renovation.

In a preview ahead of the Rijksmuseum's April 13th opening, director Wim Pijbes said the improvements will justify the long wait.

The 19th-century building's red-brick exterior, which resembles a fairy-tale castle, has been left intact. Inside, a central courtyard has been crafted to let natural light pour in, creating a bright heart at the centre of the museum.

The museum expects annual visits to nearly double to two million after the renovation. - Sapa-AP