We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot
escape responsibility for the results
(Edward R. Murrow)
Published on 28 August 2011
Dutch cutbacks on culture and its effects on museum policy
The director at Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam is looking into the possibility to…” sell the entire Africa collection and the Americas collection, and [will] only keep the top pieces in the rest of our collection so we can focus on Asian art…" to face the severe budget cuts from the government and the city of Rotterdam.
The expected € 60 - 70 million takings will be put in the bank and with the returns the daily costs will be met.
The owner of the museum collection is the city of Rotterdam that finally has to approve this scheme.
The final proposal of the Wereldmuseum will be delivered by December 2011.
Though the local administration is made up of a broad coalition of established parties a third of the city council seats are occupied by an extreme right wing party.
Together with a strong ‘business culture’ in Rotterdam the outcome of the debate, scheduled for autumn 2012, is uncertain.
The suggested deaccessioning policy is considered highly unethical according to the Code of Ethics of both the Dutch Museum Association and the ICOM.
The plans have caused a considerable outcry under African colleagues. Many find it disrespectful to the African people and their heritage, and see is as a continuous token of colonialism.
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