Meta Knol stays director of Leiden European City of Science 2022

12 November 2020

Meta Knol has been permanently appointed director of Leiden European City of Science 2022. Therefore, she is stepping down after eleven years as director of Museum De Lakenhal on 31 December. At Leiden European City of Science, Meta will continue to ignite the city of Leiden’s vision for 2022 – after the pandemic -with art and science.

In July 2020, Meta Knol temporarily assumed the directorship of the Leiden European City of Science 2022 foundation at the invitation of Leiden University, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Municipality of Leiden. This new organisation has got off the ground and picked up steam since then, and she has decided to leave the museum permanently. Meta was director of Museum De Lakenhal for over eleven years. During this period, she oversaw a process of museum transformation that culminated in the museum’s festive reopening by King Willem-Alexander in June 2019. The restored and expanded museum has garnered much praise in the past year and has been nominated for, and won, various prizes. Meta Knol’s departure means that the museum will be recruiting a new director soon.

The power of the local

Meta Knol shares her thoughts on this step: “A number of years ago, I resolved to contribute as much value and significance as possible to the place where I live and work - Leiden. Just as the transformation of Museum De Lakenhal was shaped by our close examination of the significance of the collection and the stories that can be told about it, European City of Science will be driven by our focus on Leiden’s unique character as a city of science and culture. In addition to this, I see a special task here to provide a vision on the year 2022 when, I hope, we will again be able to embrace public life. To be working at strengthening the link between science and society in this new position at a time when we are being confronted everywhere by the complex implications of the post-truth era is a challenge I embrace. I look forward to shaping this year together with the Leiden European City of Science team and the many partners from the city and beyond.”

About Leiden European City of Science

In 2022, Leiden will be the European City of Science. For a whole year, we will be highlighting ground-breaking scientific developments by means of a 365-day programme for people with inquiring minds, built on the ‘citizen science’ principle (science for, by and with citizens). In this manner, Leiden European City of Science will connect science, knowledge, art and skill by means of local interaction in 2022; the stage will be local, but the European.

About Museum De Lakenhal

Museum De Lakenhal is the city of Leiden’s museum of the visual arts, history and applied art. The internationally renowned collection counts many highlights such as Lucas van Leyden’s The Last Judgement (1526-27), beautiful stained glass, and paintings by Rembrandt and his contemporaries. Museum De Lakenhal’s inspiring programme allows the greatest possible variety of people to see Leiden’s past from a different perspective.