Newsletter Sharing Heritage Expertise Online version
Sharing Heritage Expertise No.8, June 2019
The participants of the 2019 ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ training during a workshop on Emotion Networking at Imagine IC (photo: Iris Volkers).
Welcome to the newsletter of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), created to share our expertise on shared heritage matters.

Our current feature article delves into Dutch funerary heritage, a field of expertise in which the RCE collaborates with the countries where these historical traces can be found today. From funerary to maritime, our partner in the spotlight is the South African Resources Agency (SAHRA) and its Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage unit.

Last but not least, we are happy to share that it is still possible to apply for the 2019 training ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’, following the successful first edition in 2018. More information about the training and deadline to apply, and about other current and upcoming projects and activities can be found at the end of the newsletter.
Work on the Nieuwe Oranjetuin in Paramaribo, Suriname – digging for information on the depth of the ditches in the cemetery (photo: René ten Dam).
Sharing expertise on Dutch funerary heritage
Funerary heritage is a field of study and practice that deals with historical cemeteries, churchyards and grave monuments. It is a field of expertise offered by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), especially through the work of funerary heritage expert Leon Bok. Because of the processes of colonialism and globalisation, today Dutch funerary heritage can be found around the world. These historical sites are thus excellent examples of shared cultural heritage since they connect past, present, and people across countries. Our current feature article explores how and why this expertise is a useful instrument for our partners in the Shared Cultural Heritage countries, and why these historical cemeteries constitute interesting grounds for knowledge exchange.

Read the complete article here
SAHRA staff at an information-sharing and GIS training seminar organised by Rijkswaterstaat and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (photo: Herman Hootsen).
Meet our partner, the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)
As a regulatory body, SAHRA focusses on the protection, regulation, and promotion of heritage resources. The Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage (MUCH) unit is staffed by two maritime archaeologists specialised in GIS, Heritage Inventories and Heritage Resources Management. To share its expertise, SAHRA has in the past run training courses and youth development programmes, and it participates in conferences, workshops and committees focused on heritage management and maritime and underwater heritage.

South Africa’s coastline is home to an estimated 3,000 shipwrecks representing around 37 foreign nationalities, making this a heritage resource of national and international significance, and showing the country’s links to the global maritime and underwater heritage community. SAHRA’s expertise is important for the protection of maritime and underwater heritage resources which have intrinsic value and significance to South Africans, as well as to countries whose maritime traces are located within South African waters. Given the international nature of this heritage resource, global cooperation is vital for its understanding and preservation.

There are over 120 shipwrecks of Dutch origin located off the coast of South Africa, hence SAHRA constitutes an important partner of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the RCE. SAHRA and the RCE have recently joined forces on the project ‘Modern Oral History: Dutch Wrecks in South African Waters’, aimed at gathering information about Dutch shipwreck sites in South Africa through a combination of archival research and interviews with divers to prevent the loss of this information.

To request more information about SAHRA’s expertise or to explore a potential partnership, please contact Lesa la Grange (Acting Manager of the Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage unit) at
2019 ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ training (Application open until 15 June) \\ 1 – 13 December 2019 \\ In cooperation with the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam University of the Arts), the RCE is organising a training on the engagement with and presentation of shared heritage topics that can be considered ‘contested’. Through the concept of storytelling, it will explore how open communication and multiperspectivity can help present cultural heritage from different angles. In this second edition, 22 upcoming experts from all Shared Cultural Heritage partner countries will reflect on these topics with professionals from several Dutch museums. The international exchange of knowledge and expertise will contribute to the understanding of the complexity of shared heritage. Upcoming experts and academics whose experience involves working with shared cultural heritage and contested histories can apply by sending their CV and motivation letter to Iris Volkers ( by 15 June 2019.

Fourth edition of Capacity Training Programme for Indonesian Museum Professionals 2018-2020 \\ 15 – 19 July \\ The fourth edition of this six-part training will take place in Semarang (Indonesia) and will focus on education programmes. The trainers are Ruben Smit (Reinwardt Academy) and Gundy van Dijk (het Scheepvaartmuseum). 64 museums participated in the previous trainings that took place in July 2018 in Yogyakarta, in December 2018 in Jakarta and in April 2019 in Malang. This long-term programme is made possible by the join efforts of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage Preservation and Museums (Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia), the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta, the RCE and the Reinwardt Academy.

New intern at the RCE: Juan Aguirre Fernandez-Bravo \\ July 2019 – March 2020 \\ Juan is following a Masters in Museology (Reinwardt Academy), and his main task within the Shared Cultural Heritage programme will be to support the training ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ (see above). Juan will combine his internship with his MA thesis, which represents a new formula within the Reinwardt Academy’s Masters programme, aimed at enhancing the academic output of internships. The focus of his thesis, based mainly on his research during his activities in relation to the training, will take into account his interest in LGBTIQ history.

New intern at the RCE: Mirra Berridge
\\ July – September \\ Mirra is a recent Masters graduate in Technical History of Art and current student of the Postgradute Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings of the Courtauld Institute of Art. The internship is part of a longstanding collaboration between the conservation department at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the RCE. The conservation students at the Courtauld are encouraged to gain experience during their study breaks to provide a wider context for their understanding of the conservation field. Mirra’s main goal will be to support the writing of a brochure outlining an overview of new materials and methods for the conservation of easel paintings.
Built Environment
Workshop on the future perspectives of the former mining town of Sawahlunto (Indonesia) \\ July \\ Sawahlunto is located in the mountains above the city of Padang on the island of Sumatra. Recently, this historic town with strong connections to the Netherlands has been nominated by the Government of Indonesia for UNESCO World Heritage listing. During this year’s World Heritage Committee meeting in Baku (Azerbaijan), UNESCO will make a decision on this nomination. In the meantime, Vince Gebert and Grace Emely (RCE) will support the Municipality of Sawahlunto in defining the future perspectives of the town, through a workshop organised with the local stakeholders on this topic. The historical town is in need of a solid basis for existence in order to preserve its historic features for future generations.

Research for the ‘Tectonic Wilhelmiens’ project in South Africa \\ June \\ Following the successful ‘Eclectic Wilhelmiens’ project, the University of Pretoria (South Africa) has initiated research into the Dutch influence on the South-African built environment during the period 1902-1961, with the support of TU Delft, the RCE and the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria. This project is titled ‘Tectonic Wilhelmiens’, and will culminate in a publication and web-based resources. In the first week of June, Kees Somer (RCE) and co-author Mathebe Aphane (University of Pretoria) will carry out fieldwork for their chapter on social housing.

New documentary: ‘A future for Westfort Village’ (South Africa) \\ The former leper colony of Westfort Village was built at the end of the 19th century, West of Pretoria (present day Tshwane), and it still bears unmistakable features of 19th century Dutch architecture. After a long period of vacancy, the colony has recently been squatted by marginalised groups, who take care of this enclave with dedication yet scarce resources. The current challenge is to improve the living conditions by using the historical buildings stock. At the request of local parties, the RCE, the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria and TU Delft are supporting this shared mission by means of training and advice. This new documentary shows the case of Westfort Village and reports on the Shared Heritage Studio, executed by the University of Pretoria in collaboration with TU Delft. The documentary was produced by Tetteroo Media, commissioned by the RCE, within the framework of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme.

Publication of report on the HUL Quick Scan workshop in Muntok (Indonesia) \\ 2019 \\ Within the framework of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme, the RCE developed a method – HUL Quick Scan – based on UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape (HUL). This method was first used at the old tin mining town of Muntok (West Bangka) in November 2018. Students from universities in Medan, Padang and Jakarta explored challenges and opportunities for Muntok, and considered how cultural heritage can become a new impetus for the future of the town. A report has recently been published on the results of this workshops and can be read here. In cooperation with the Universitas Indonesia and the Universitas Trisakti this method will be applied again in another city in Indonesia later this year.
Maritime Archaeology
Shared maritime heritage, research and management – the fieldwork season has started! \\ The season has started for the RCE’s maritime archaeologists to go into the field and start expeditions for maritime archaeological research. The results of the fieldwork will contribute to maritime heritage management around the world, and especially in our Shared Cultural Heritage partner countries. The management of maritime heritage sites and shipwrecks on an international level is always executed in close collaboration with the so called coastal states. Maritime heritage sites are often located in territorial waters of countries that are responsible for the management of these sites. In our last newsletter, we mentioned the research on the Abrolhos islands in Australia – the first expedition of 2019, which took place from 22 until 28 May. Following this, the team will now go to Indonesia, Malaysia and Cuba. We will share more information about the fieldwork in due time.
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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