Sharing heritage: bi-monthly update of the Cultural Heritage Agency No. 12 – April and May 2017
RCE experts visiting in Dritabiki in Surinam for a meeting on Marroon heritage
In this newsletter
From Cuba to South Africa and right back to Holland – there is a lot happening in this edition of our newsletter on the Shared Cultural Heritage activities of the Cultural Heritage Agency. Meet our expert Alexandra van Kleef and read all about the exciting shared heritage project in the waters of Cuba!
Project in the spotlight
Statue of the Dutch Buccaneer Piet Hein in Matanzas, Cuba. Source: Wikimedia CommonsAt least 21 Dutch shipwrecks can be found in Cuban waters, most of them dating from the 17th century. The wrecks are from the Dutch West India Company (WIC), as well as buccaneer fleets, like Cornelis – ‘Houtebeen’ – Jol’s, a buccaneer who lost his fleet near Cuba. The Dutch minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker and the Cuban vice-minister of Culture Fernando Rojas reached an agreement about a joint research project. Bussemaker considers the research to be highly important, because it can give a better idea of our history. “Hopefully this will add to our knowledge about the role that the Dutch Republic played during the 17th century in the area which today is the Caribbean part of the Kingdom: the Caribbean Netherlands and the countries Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Maritime archaeologist Martijn Manders of the Cultural Heritage Agency is enthusiastic about the project as well: “These shipwrecks are the only objective sources we have. The ship itself can give us an idea of the technological advances of the era, the cargo about trade and trade relations and the arms on board about the ship’s goals. The personal belongings tell us something about the crew and the cooking gear and food and drink about life on board.”
Expert in the spotlight
From pieces of art to an antique jail wagon and everything in between, what job could possibly bring you into contact with such a diversity of objects? Alexandra van Kleef is collection management adviser at the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE). She participated in the Shared Cultural Heritage programme by giving workshops on collection management in South Africa. Next to that, she is working on the CollectieCentrum Nederland project: a new collections centre being developed in Amersfoort. This new centre will house over 675.000 pieces from the RCE, Paleis het Loo, Rijksmuseum and Holland Open Air Museum under one roof. 

n South Africa, she discovered that there was a lot of enthusiasm for her expertise on collection management; the first workshop she gave was completely booked up in one day! In a large and diverse country like South Africa, there is so much heritage worth preserving, but the know-how on how to do so sustainably is sometimes lacking. In 2017, Alexandra hopes to continue the collaboration with South Africa’s colleagues and to jointly develop train-the-trainer courses on the field of conservation.
Source: Alexandra van Kleef
Current projects
Researching the international heritage field
Since the end of march, our new intern Paige Foley is researching the international cultural heritage field. She joined us at the Shared Cultural Heritage programme out of her interest for heritage policy. Which other organizations are operating abroad in our partner countries in the fields of collections management and built heritage & urban development? What opportunities are there abroad for the RCE and what can we learn from our foreign colleagues? Involved RCE experts: Jean-Paul Corten and Hanna Pennock.

The Okanisi Marroon heritage of Surinam
The Marroons, the enslaved people that fled into the Surinam jungle, developed their own culture that comprised a mix of elements from their native country in West Africa and the contacts they had with the colonial community. Granman Bonno Velanti of the Okanisi Marroons requested in 2015 the advice of the RCE in his ambition to preserve, disseminate and revitalize Okanisi cultural heritage. After the first part of this research was done in 2016, the project is continued in April with a visit from a delegation of the Aukan Marron community from Surinam and an expert meeting. The results of this project will be presented to the Granman in May 2017. Involved RCE expert: Arjen Kok.

Funerary heritage of the Dutch in Japan
What made it so difficult for the Dutch in Nagasaki to bury their dead in a traditional fashion? This is one of the major questions that will be answered in an upcoming book on the graves and funerals of the Dutch in Japan during the 17th century. To understand the way the Dutch in Japan buried their dead, we must first understand the funeral traditions of the Japanese themselves. The upcoming book, titled Buried on the other side of the bay, will offer a good read for all those who are interested in what remains of the Dutch heritage in Japan. Involved RCE expert: Martijn Manders.
Recently published
More information?
This newsletter on the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the RCE is produced by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. Our SCH programme follows from the International Cultural Policy Framework of the Netherlands government. Within this framework, the RCE aims at knowledge exchange and international cooperation in the context of sustainable conservation and use of shared cultural heritage.

For more information about the SCH programme and projects of the RCE, please visit our website (Dutch and English) and the Cultural Heritage Connections database.
Calendar SCH activities and related events
Book launch and exhibition: ‘Reuse, Redevelop & Design: How the Dutch Deal with Heritage’
The book, featuring essays on heritage policy, public-private partnerships, financing and design, addresses the story behind the success of redevelopment. It is accompanied by an exhibition bearing the same name. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague.
Network meeting Surinam
A network meeting for artists and organisations who want to cooperate with Surinam or are already doing so. At Goethe-Institut, Amsterdam.
ICOMOS NL: ‘Indonesisch-Nederlandse ontmoetingen’
Two lectures on the influences the Netherlands and Indonesia had on each other’s musical traditions in the past and present. With Bart Barendregt, Marga Bosch and Ingrid Oud. At DutchCulture, Amsterdam.
Lecture: ‘Indië in beeld en geluid’
An afternoon on movies and photos of buildings and gardens in the East-Indies. Organised in collaboration with the Eye Filmmuseum. At Landgoed Bronbeek, Arnhem.
Lecture: ‘Het slavernijverleden van de VOC’
A lecture by Matthias van Rossum on the history of slave trade in the Asian colonies. At the Nationaal Archief, The Hague.
Lecture: 'The image of China in the Golden Age'
Lectures on the representations of China in the Dutch Republic during the Golden Age. With Thijs Weststeijn, Lennert Gesterkamp, Trude Dijkstra and Willemijn van Noord. At Spui25, Amsterdam.
ICOMOS NL: Nederland en Guyana
Two lectures on the colonial history between the Netherlands and Guyana and the archives relating to that history. With Roelof Hol and Bram Hoonhout. At DutchCulture, Amsterdam.
Lecture: ‘Women and the VOC’
A lecture by Michel Ketelaars on the role of women in the history of the Dutch East India Company. At the Nationaal Archief, the Hague.
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