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Pokémon teams up with Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

<i>Courtesy Van Gogh Museum</i><br/>The partnership will run until January.
Courtesy Van Gogh Museum
The partnership will run until January.

Jack Guy, CNN

(CNN) — Pokémon is partnering with the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as part of a new collaboration to teach youngsters about the work of one of the Netherlands’ most famous artists.

A number of Pokémon-themed exhibits will run at the Van Gogh Museum from Thursday as part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations, according to a press release published Wednesday.

“This collaboration will allow the next generation to get to know Vincent van Gogh’s art and life story in a refreshing way. The Van Gogh Museum and The Pokémon Company have drawn on many years of educational expertise to create a special experience for children, their supervisors, and we hope many others at the Van Gogh Museum,” said Emilie Gordenker, general director of the Van Gogh Museum, in the release.

One activity teaches visitors how to draw Pikachu, the yellow character that is one of the most recognizable faces of the Pokémon brand, while another lays out the connection between Van Gogh and Japanese art and culture, which had a “profound impact” on his art and world view, according to the museum.

“Speaking to his brother Theo in a letter in September 1888, Vincent said ‘And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention,” reads the release.

According to Mathieu Galante, director of licensing at The Pokémon Company International, “there is a strong link between the inspiration behind Pokémon and the inspiration behind some of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous work.”

“With this collaboration we really hope that we can see children discovering and immersing themselves into the world of art through the incredible works of Van Gogh and Pokémon,” added Galante in the release.

The collaboration will run until January 7 and a regular ticket to the museum is required for entry.

Pokémon started life as a game for Nintendo’s Game boy handheld console in Japan in 1996.

Players would traverse a fictional world capturing, training and battling the creatures that inhabited it – a mission encapsulated in the game’s famous slogan, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.” But within just a few years, Pokémon, a portmanteau of the Japanese name “Poketto Monsuta,” was a global phenomenon.

A quarter of a century on, many first-generation Pokémon are as recognizable to millennials as they are to their children. This is partly thanks to a post-2016 revival inspired by the mobile game “Pokémon Go” and movie “Detective Pikachu.”

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