Newsletter Sharing Heritage Expertise Online version
Sharing Heritage Expertise No.6, Dec. 2018 - Feb. 2019
The now empty coal silos in Sawahlunto are currently used as a climbing wall by the local alpinist association (photo: Jean-Paul Corten).
In 2019, we celebrate one year of our ‘Sharing Heritage Expertise’ newsletter! Every two months, we will continue to bring you information about the knowledge and the unique expertise of our Shared Cultural Heritage programme. This edition includes a long read about the Training Manuals for the UNESCO Foundation Courses on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage – developed together with our Maritime Archaeology experts. To foster further collaborations, we give you an insight into the work of one our partners – this time, the Reinwardt Academy, a leading Dutch institute in the field of heritage and museology. And we finish off with an overview of our recent and upcoming projects and activities, spread around the world and across the three themes which together make up our programme – Collections, Built Environment and Maritime Archaeology. Happy readings!
Underwater survey as a practical training during the St Eustatius foundation course in 2014.
The UNESCO Training Manuals and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands – building capacity together for the protection of underwater cultural heritage
In 2012, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) developed a training manual for UNESCO’s foundation courses on the protection and management of underwater cultural heritage. This first training manual focused on Asia and the Pacific. The RCE, together with UNESCO, is currently developing a new manual adapted to Latin America and the Caribbean region, which will be published later this year and translated into Spanish. Ahead of the upcoming manual, this newsletter’s feature article explains how these manuals came into being and why they are valuable tools for building capacity in the field of underwater cultural heritage around the world. Capacity building is one of the missions of the RCE and because underwater and maritime cultural heritage is often shared between countries, it is one of the focuses of the RCE’s Shared Cultural Heritage programme.

Read the complete article here
The participants of the ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ training with Stephanie Archangel (left), junior curator of the Rijksmuseum’s history department (photo: R. Smit).
Meet our partner, the Reinwardt Academy
In December last year, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) organised, in collaboration with the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam University of the Arts), the first international training course on ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’. This was the starting point of a fruitful partnership which will involve two further trainings, the next one to take place later this year. As the sole vocational university in the Netherlands in the field of Cultural Heritage with a strong background in Museology, the Reinwardt Academy is known for its practice based theoretical approach. Students of its Bachelor’s and international Master’s programme in Museum Studies carry out practical internships during their studies, and the lecturers, alongside their work at the university, have valuable experience of the heritage field. Embedded in the New Museology, the Academy recently developed the Emotion Networking method, which allows to bridge controversy and build mutual understanding. This method is of especial interest to those professionals working with shared – and potentially contested – cultural heritage.

The work of the Reinwardt Academy extends also abroad, through the development of various training programmes in the field of heritage and museology. An example is the ongoing ‘Sustainable Capacity Building Programme for Indonesian Heritage Professionals’. These trainings vary from specific hands-on and in-house training programmes (e.g. collection handling) to full-fledged curricula for professional training in cooperation with other universities. The Reinwardt Academy hopes to develop further international collaborations in the field of museology. For more information about the trainings or to discuss possible collaborations, please contact Ruben Smit ( To know more about the international Master’s programme, please contact Menno Welling (
Workshop in South Africa \\ 18 – 22 February 2019 \\ The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), together with the National Archives of the Netherlands (Nationaal Archief) and Amsterdam’s City Archives (Stadsarchief Amsterdam), is supporting, through knowledge exchange, a workshop on conservation, management and architectural drawings in various South African archives. The workshop is organised by four archival institutes in Gauteng that are currently struggling with these architectural drawings: the National Archives of South Africa, Transnet, the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand. This workshop is a follow-up of the visit that the four institutes made to the Netherlands last year.

Expert visit from the Muziris Heritage project delegation \\ 17 December 2018 \\ A delegation of professionals from the Muziris Heritage project (Kerala, India) visited the Netherlands. This visit was organised by DutchCulture in collaboration with the RCE, and it was initiated by the Netherlands Embassy in Delhi. The goal was to reflect on the possibilities of working together in the areas of Collections, Built Environment and Maritime Archaeology.

Expert visit from IBRAM \\ 10 – 16 December 2018 \\ Colleagues from the Brazilian Institutes of Museums (IBRAM) visited the Netherlands, as part of the MoU between IBRAM and the RCE. The visit was organised by DutchCulture and the RCE. The aim of this visit was to survey potential partnerships and to exchange knowledge on sustainable strategies for museums. Topics discussed included economic sustainability and the impact of museums, the role of museums for local communities and the shift from public to private management.

Training ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ \\ 1 – 14 December 2018 \\ During two weeks, professionals from 9 shared cultural heritage partner countries and the Netherlands explored different themes regarding multiperspectivity in relation to storytelling in museums. The closing session took place on 14 December 2018, during which the participants presented their final work and discussed the topics addressed during the training with the audience. In 2019 and 2020, the RCE and the Reinwardt Academy will run this training again. The goal of these trainings is to examine how contested shared cultural heritage can be represented from different angles in order to improve our understanding of it. The international exchange of knowledge and expertise will contribute to an increased awareness of the complexity of contested shared cultural heritage.

Restoring Sounding Heritage in Paramaribo (Suriname) \\ 20 November – 4 December 2018 \\ Last year, expert Rudi van Straten (RCE) and Johan Ploegaert, a Dutch volunteer specialised in clockworks, travelled to Suriname to restore four timepieces together with local specialists. One of them was the 1840 Amsterdam timepiece in the tower of the building of the Ministry of Finance. Furthermore, the second phase of the large-scale restoration of the historical organ in Paramaribo’s cathedral began. The main goal of this visit was the further training of specialists in Suriname, in order to render future maintenance, knowledge and expertise more sustainable.
Built Environment
Documentary ‘Reuse, Redevelop and Design – How the Dutch deal with heritage’ \\ A documentary has been produced to accompany the exhibition and book under the same title. In this documentary, four key players are interviewed: Paul Meurs and Marike Steenhuis, the authors of the book and curators of the exhibition, give an overview of the Dutch experiences in the field of adaptive reuse. Susan Lammers, director general of the RCE, explains the facilitating role of her department. Floris Alkemade, Government Architect, talks about the role architects play in the redevelopment process. Bart Schoonderbeek, Dutch entrepreneur, shares his experience in redeveloping the former toothpaste factory in Amersfoort. The documentary can be watched here.

Expert visit from Brazil \\ 11 – 15 February 2019 \\ Between 11 and 15 representatives from the INCITI/UFPE – Research and Innovation for Cities, a research laboratory of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) – will be visiting the Netherlands. The aim of the visit is the exchange of knowledge on the topic of regeneration of urban heritage precincts. During their visit, the experts will consult with several Dutch governmental parties and NGO’s. The visit will also be used to prepare the joint Brazil-Netherlands workshop in Recife, scheduled for September this year, which concerns the potential future use of historical features.

Contribution to UNESCO World Heritage nomination of the Ombilin coal mining town of Sawahlunto, Sumatra (Indonesia)
\\ February 2019 \\ To support the team in Indonesia that is currently preparing the nomination dossier for the UNESCO World Heritage listing of the coal mining town of Sawahlunto, additional research will be carried out in February by Leidelmeijer Historisch Onderzoek en Advies, at the request of the RCE. The research should provide further insight into the exchange of expertise in coal mining between Asian and European parties.

Archival research on Sukuta fountain on Bali (Indonesia) \\ January 2019 \\ To support the current efforts to reconstruct the so-called Sukuta fountain on Bali (a gift from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to the Raja of Karangasem in 1912), PKMvR, a Dutch heritage research consultancy, is carrying out archival research. The RCE commissioned this research from KPMvR, at the request of the local authorities, that are responsible for the restoration of the fountain.

Expert Meeting UNESCO World Heritage, Asia-Pacific \\ 28 – 30 November 2018 \\ At the request of the Indonesian Ministry of Culture, the RCE (Jean-Paul Corten) attended the expert meeting on World Heritage Nominations in Jakarta (Indonesia). Five sites with Dutch colonial roots have recently been nominated by Indonesia to the UNESCO World Heritage List – the nutmeg islands of the Banda Archipelago; the old town of Jakarta, the former headquarters of the VOC in Asia; the former mining town of Sawahlunto on Sumatra; the colonial city of Semarang; and the botanical gardens of Bogor. The meeting established the way forward for the nomination dossiers, which concern their historical importance and future perspectives.
Maritime Archaeology
European Year of Cultural Heritage and Maritime Heritage \\ 2018 was the European Year of Cultural Heritage. In March last year, the theme ‘Water’ was launched. The Maritime Archaeology theme asked the public what they considered to be their favourite maritime heritage. Interesting stories about tangible and intangible maritime objects and events have been collected. Naturally, well-known shipwrecks such as the Titanic were mentioned, but remarkably, most of them were personal (family) histories. In 2019, we would like to continue the search for favourite or important maritime heritage(s) – a wreck, an object, a happening, a song, a movie – that are part of the history of the relationship between people and water. It is important for the RCE to understand how people experience maritime heritage, since that can hopefully help increase awareness of the need to protect it. Do you have a favourite? Let us know here.

Working together with Cuba \\ In 2018, the RCE and the National Council of Cultural Heritage of Cuba (CNPC) signed an agreement to work together in the research, management and protection of underwater cultural heritage in Cuban waters. The focus will be on the many Dutch wrecks of privateers and pirates that were lost in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the last couple of months, some equipment that is needed for the joint research of four shipwrecks of the Fleet of Cornelis Jol (1640) has already been shipped to Cuba with the help of the Dutch Embassy in Havana and the Cuban Embassy in The Hague. Soon the archaeologists will follow for their first fieldwork season.

Collaboration between Dutch and Indonesian governments \\ 21 November 2018 \\ Last year, the General Director of the RCE, Susan Lammers, met with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director General for America and Europe, Mr Muhammad Anshor, to sign a Letter of Intent. In this document, both sides committed to further cooperation in the field of maritime heritage between the RCE and its Indonesian partner, the National Centre for Archaeology (Arkenas). On behalf of Arkenas, the agreement was signed by its director I Made Geria. This collaboration is part of the agreements made in 2017 between the Dutch and Indonesian governments following the discovery of the wrecks of three Dutch warships that sank in the Java Sea during the Second Word War.

MaSS website 2.0 \\ The website MaritimeStepping Stones (MaSS) has been improved. The most important development is that it is now possible to register for an account, after which you can make adjustments, include images or even add complete sites. With these improvements, the possibilities to tell stories about shipwrecks have been upgraded and now everyone can contribute to that mission! Check the complete list of changes here.
Sharing Heritage Expertise is the newsletter of the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This programme follows from the International Cultural Policy Framework of the Dutch government. Other organisations executing the national Shared Cultural Heritage Programme are DutchCulture and the National Archives of the Netherlands, and the Embassies of the Netherlands in the 10 partner countries. For more information on their activities, see their respective websites.

For more information, please visit our website (English and Dutch) or contact the editor, Sofia Lovegrove ( We welcome comments and suggestions regarding the content of our newsletter.
Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
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