The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: A security guard who doesn’t know how a backpack looks like

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Don't argue, it is art

I was so looking forward to visit The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which was officially reopened on the 23rd of September 2012. Last saturday was the prefect day to do so: It was heavily snowing and extremely cold outside. As expected, the museum was crowded but cheerful.

I wasn’t sure whether the other visitors were really into the modern and contemporary art. The thing that I knew for sure that the museum has made some exciting improvements in almost every terms.

There were a lot of security guards at the grand entrance and they’re quite friendly in their own way of greeting the visitors. After a small talk with two of them, I knew my way to enjoy some work of art by Piet Mondrian (aka Piet Mondriaan), Karel Appel and Constant Nieuwenhuys (aka Constant), and to find where the toilets, the cafe’s, the library, the museum shop were and so on.


Don't argue, it is art

However, something very strange occurred when another security guard approached me and insisted that I was not allowed to carry my backpack with me. I have always known that there’re some rules and policy that need to be followed when visiting museums. For heaven’s sake, I worked at a museum for years before.

The thing was that I was not carrying a backpack, but a cross-body bag, Pacsafe Venturesafe 300 (Amazon US)Pacsafe Luggage Venturesafe 300 Vertical Travel Pack, Sparrow, One Size | Pacsafe VentureSafe 300 (Amazon UK). The cross-body bag is not exactly a work of art, it doesn’t look like a backpack and ironically, it cannot even be converted into one (see image below).

Pacsafe VentureSafe 300 Secure Travel Bag Black

Seriously, who needs a confusing drama at a museum on saturday morning? I don’t, I didn’t. So, I said to him that I’ld put my-according-to-him-backpack in a locker and that his warning was very confusing.

Not only because it wasn’t a backpack but also because the fact that the rest of his security colleagues didn’t say anything to me. Perhaps because they knew that I was not carrying a backpack?!!!

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is an international institution that is dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design. The museum is really worth visiting. Due to this security guard’s confusing warning, the museum should, however, consider two things:

  1. Clearly define what backpack is
  2. Inform this definition to ALL of their security guards

Don’t let this security guard who obviously doesn’t know how a backpack looks like and his confusing warning prevent you from visiting and enjoying the work of art at The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.


Don't argue, it is art

Don't argue, it is art

Don't argue, it is art

Don't argue, it is art

Don't argue, it is art

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