The set-up process has begun for the worldwide Rembrandt Remastered exhibition that opens to the public in Whangarei tomorrow.

It took a few days to set up the exhibition, which involved constructing a wall to hold a huge 4m x 5m piece by the Dutch master titled The Nightwatch.

More than the $17,500 bout requested by the Rotary Club of South Whangarei for the funding was donated, with a significant sum of $10,000 donated by a Rotary club member.

Murray Neighbour of the Rotary club, one of the organisers of the project, said seeing students in Europe travelling across countries to see art encouraged him to bring the exhibition to Whangarei.


"The kids here don't get the opportunity to see something like this."

In order to encourage schools to visit the exhibition, the Rotary club has offered to subsidise the cost of their transport to the venue. The 57 recreated pieces will be displayed across two venues - the Whangarei Art Museum and Reyburn House - until July 17.

Mr Neighbour hopes that several thousand people will visit.

"They're never going to get the chance again."

Project manager Ellen Kerssens agreed, saying: "You'll never get to see this many Rembrandt pieces together."

The original art by Rembrandt of about 300 pieces is spread out in museums across the world. The artworks in this exhibition have been recreated from photographs of the original paintings that were studied and researched over decades.

The photographs were digitally remastered to reflect the paintings of the 17th century Dutch artist as they were at the time of completion in his studio.

The technology used in the process has made them look like real paintings and of a higher quality than most reproductions. A few of the originals have been stolen but those who visit the exhibition will be able to view reproductions of those works.

The exhibition was originally only intended to be held in Auckland and Wellington but because of demand has travelled around the country.

It opens to the public tomorrow morning with an official opening for sponsors tonight.

Admission is by koha.