Visitors take pictures of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring (approx. 1665) during a preview for the press of the renovated Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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"The Girl With a Pearl Earring" has come home.After a two-year global tour that drew record crowds in Japan, Italy and the United States, Johannes Vermeer's 1665 masterpiece and other works from the Netherlands' 17th-century Golden Age have returned home to the newly renovated Mauritshuis museum in the Hague.Both the museum and the collection have been changed by their time apart. The small Mauritshuis building, a classic of Dutch architecture, has been expanded and reorganized to accommodate the demands of modern tourists. The painting has been given a more prominent place in the museum than before.It was purchased by the Dutch state in 1820 and became a public museum after the Netherlands' first king, Willem I, donated his paintings.
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