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Arlington’s Netherlands Carillon to be restored by NPS

The project will add three bells to the Netherlands Carillon to upgrade its status to “grand carillon.”

The Netherlands Carillon is located in Arlington Ridge Park and is being restored by NPS. (stock.adobe.com/© jonbilous)

The view of Washington, DC, from Arlington Ridge Park is, hands down, one of the best of the city a Northern Virginian can get. It’s also home to the Netherlands Carillon, given to the United States by the Netherlands, symbolizing friendship between the two countries after World War II.

The carillon features 50 bells of bronze alloy, copper and tin, with a total weight of 30 tons, which were first installed in 1954. And now, three more bells will be added to elevate its status to “grand carillon,” according to the National Park Service (NPS). 

NPS, along with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, launched the project to restore the Netherlands Carillon and add the bells in late October. 

“The Netherlands Carillon is an integral part of Washington’s monumental landscape with a multitude of purposes, but for the Dutch, the Carillon symbolizes our gratitude to the U.S. for assistance during and after World War II and represents the friendship our nations continue to share based on the values of freedom, and democracy,” Ambassador André Haspels of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said at the project’s kickoff event.

The carillon’s bells will be removed by crane and sent to the Netherlands where Dutch company Royal Eijsbouts will restore them. The three new bells and improvements to the carillon instrument (including a new music console and keyboard) were made possible by donations to the Embassy. 

Other improvements include repairing and replacing the steel cladding, improving the structure, removing rust and repainting the carillon. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021. For more information, visit nps.gov.

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