Dr. Ernst Veen (director of the Nieuwe Kerk museum) as the chairman, the Hermitage Friends in the Netherlands Foundation organize numerous activities in support of the Hermitage. Its biggest fundraising campaigns have been the New Roof and Lighting for the Rembrandt Room (1998) and New Roof and Lighting for the Dutch Masters (2000). These projects, worth 1 million US dollars each, enabled the Hermitage to repair the roofs over the Rembrandt Gallery and the Dutch Masters Galleries as well as to restore the galleries themselves and install new lighting equipment.
Economical ties between Russia and the Netherlands were very strong all the way until 1917. Many Dutchmen invested in Russia state funds, as well as mining and railroad companies. Before October revolution of 1917 total volume of allocated Dutch capital in Russia was estimated at approximately billion guldens, which back in those days was an enormous sum.
Diplomatic relations have been severed in 1918, to be reestablished only in 1942. After World War II when international dialogues were maintained in a classic cold war style, cultural ties remained relatively intact. During perestroika, Russia and Netherlands began working on rebuilding their historical partnerships. Political and economic relations once again are getting more active.