Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Visitors picking up luggage at Schipol airport this autumn are assured an arty welcome to Amsterdam. To celebrate the renovation of its gallery within the airport – where 10 paintings from the museum’s collection are on display – the Rijksmuseum has installed a special baggage carousel bearing reproductions of some of its most famous masterpieces. Covering the entire 73 metres of the baggage belt of Carousel 16 in Baggage Hall 3, the creative conveyer includes works by the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Karel Appel, Van Gogh and others.
But Schipol is far from the only airport to liven itself up with a bit of artistic sparkle. Hamad International Airport in Qatar has played host to works by figures including Damien Hirst and Maurizio Cattelan, while pride of place in Heathrow’s Terminal 2 is given over to Richard Wilson’s gargantuan sculpture Slipstream. Denver airport is considered such a cultural destination that it has even hosted its own public art walking tours.
And then there is Funchal in Portugal, where the airport was recently renamed in honour of local boy Cristiano Ronaldo. To commemorate the rebranding, a specially commissioned bust of the Portugal captain was unveiled just outside the terminal building – and immediately became the subject of intense global ridicule. However brilliant the masterpieces adorning Carousel 16 are, Schipol is going to have its work cut out to attract even a smidgeon of the attention afforded Ronaldo’s, erm, ‘likeness’…