Newsletter Sharing Heritage Expertise Online version
Sharing Heritage Expertise No.10, December 2019
Participants of the ‘Risk Management for Collections’ workshop in Cape Town in November at the Slave Lodge Museum (photo: Bart Ankersmit).
Welcome to our 10th Sharing Heritage Expertise newsletter and the last one of 2019! Our current article presents the training ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’, a unique three-year programme initiated in 2018 by the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. The 2019 training is currently nearing its end, after two very busy and thought-provoking weeks. In Meet our Partner, we introduce you to SteenhuisMeurs and we finish off with an overview of our recent projects and activities. Good readings!
Participants of the 2019 training at the Reinwardt Academy, Amsterdam (photo: Kasper Marinus).
The ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ training programme
How do you tell stories about shared cultural heritage? What should be the role of museums and other cultural institutions in facilitating a dialogical and polyphonic approach towards the presentation of histories that are contested? And how can this be achieved? In 2018, and for the first time, an international training programme focused on telling stories about contested histories was organised in the Netherlands. Initiated by the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), the ‘Sharing Stories on Contested Histories’ training was organised together with the Reinwardt Academy, and the participants came from the 10 shared heritage partner countries and from the Netherlands. As the second of three trainings is now nearing its end, our feature article explores this unique programme and its added value for heritage and museum professionals and academics.

Read the complete article here
Participants of the workshop ‘RxH 2019’ (1-6 September 2019) listening to Paul Meurs (back, left) in Recife, Brazil (photo: Ariano Rodrigo).
Meet our Partner, SteenhuisMeurs
SteenhuisMeurs is a research and consultancy firm focused on heritage transformations, ranging from buildings to entire landscapes. The starting point of any of its projects is the identification of the cultural-historical value of the heritage at stake, which is then translated into new developments. This can be done in the form of architectural and transformation guidelines, area visions and project supervision. The experts of SteenhuisMeurs have vast expertise in developing strategies for sustainable tourism, for adaptive re-use and the redevelopment of buildings, complexes or urban districts (including listed heritage), and for integral development, i.e. heritage conservation linked to other challenges (such as water safety or economic development). SteenhuisMeurs works with the public and private sectors, in the Netherlands and abroad.

SteenhuisMeurs often works together with the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the RCE. For instance, in October 2018, Paul Meurs (SteenhuisMeurs) and Jean-Paul Corten (RCE) gave a workshop in Moscow on the redevelopment of industrial sites along the Yauza River. And last September, SteenhuisMeurs contributed to the workshop ‘Recife exchange Holland’ (RxH 2019), with other institutions from the Netherlands, including the RCE. This workshop was aimed at formulating a sustainable future vision for the historic city centre of Recife, as integrated into a larger urban landscape, while considering current issues related to water, climate and mobility.

Besides workshops, lectures and trainings, SteenhuisMeurs provides services such as advice and supervision, it develops co-creation projects, publishes manuals and other publications, and develops exhibitions. An example is the book ‘Re-use, redevelop and design: How the Dutch deal with Heritage’ and the namesake exhibition focused on the Dutch experience with adaptive reuse. Both constitute a collaboration with the RCE in the context of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme. For more information, please contact
‘Risk Management for Collections’ workshop in Cape Town, South Africa // 25 – 29 November // Bart Ankersmit (RCE) and Martijn de Ruijter (Reinwardt Academy) delivered a 5-day training in the Slave Lodge Museum within the framework of the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme. Organised in collaboration with Iziko Museums and the South African Museum Association (SAMA), this training was aimed at mid-career museum professionals. It was based on the RCE’s publication ‘Risk Management for Collections’, and consisted of practical assignments for which the Slave Lodge Museum acted as a case study. Participants learnt how cultural values can be analysed, utilised and preserved and were trained in this integrated approach to risk management and decision-making. The training also included discussions, and experiences and views on integral decision-making were shared.

Training in textile conservation in Kimberley, South Africa // 11 – 14 November // The third training of a multi-year train-the-trainer programme on collection conservation for museum professionals in South Africa took place in November, this time about textile conservation. Three textile conservators of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam – Suzan Meijer, Carola Holz and Marjolein Koekas – and Alexandra van Kleef of the RCE,  travelled to the McGregor Museum in Kimberley in the Northern Cape province. The training consisted of presentations, practical workshops, discussions and networking opportunities. The participants learnt about the differences between vegetable, animal and synthetic fibres, the cleaning of dyed textiles, how to conserve beadwork and many other things related to their daily work. The exchange of knowledge and experiences that characterises these trainings is very valuable and inspirational for the South African and the Dutch museum professionals. 

State Visit and new and continuing collaborations in Kerala, India // 17 – 19 October // During the Shared Cultural Heritage session as part of the State Visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands to Kerala, Jinna Smit, Programme Director Shared Cultural Heritage (RCE), spoke about how the Netherlands and India work together to ensure a sustainable future for our shared cultural heritage. Subsequently, she spoke with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) about their plan to realise a Dutch Gallery in Mattancherry Palace in Kochi and she visited St. Francis Church in Kochi to talk about their plans for the Dutch Cemetery in Kochi. Also, a round table was held with the Muziris Heritage Project, focusing on collaboration between the RCE and this project group on the urban revitalization of Alleppey. In 2020, these discussions will result in collaborations with ASI, St. Francis Church and the Muziris Heritage Project.

Revival of the Hill organ at Wolvendahl Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka // 30 September – 14 October // Start of the second phase of the restoration project of two pipe organs in two Dutch reformed churches in Sri Lanka. The Hill organ (1870) in the Wolvendaal church in Colombo is the first instrument to resound after years of silence. In the context of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme of the RCE, the Dutch organ builders firm Elbertse worked together with local artisans to repair and maintain these musical instruments. Central to this project is making knowledge and skills available in Sri Lanka for future maintenance. This project is supported by the Christian Reformed Church in Sri Lanka and by the Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka.
Built Environment
Workshop ‘Shared Heritage Lab’ in Semarang, Indonesia // 28 October – 4 November // This joint workshop of the technical universities of Bandung and Delft is a preparation for the graduation project for the students of both institutions. The RCE’s Shared Cultural Heritage programme supported this workshop by sharing knowledge and expertise. During the workshop, the students jointly investigated if and how the historical qualities of the city can contribute to current social challenges. One of the urgencies in Semarang is the periodic flood. Because of the water issues, the Dutch architectural firm MLA+ also took part in the workshop, at the invitation of the RCE. The results of the workshop are shared with the municipality and thus serve not only the graduation of the students involved, but also the local authorities. 

HUL Quick Scan training in Banjarmasin, Indonesia // 27 October – 2 November // Banjarmasin’s (Borneo) historic urban landscape consists of numerous settlements near and on the water and several distinct historical kampungs. Today, Banjarmasin is facing rapid modernisation and urbanisation and its riverside settlements suffer from pollution and urban degeneration. How can Banjarmasin maintain its unique water-related identity? And how to revitalise its historical riverside kampungs? This was the focus of the workshop organised by the Municipality of Banjarmasin, Heritage Hands-On, IPB University, Trisakti University and the RCE. Students and young professionals from several cities in Indonesia and local stakeholders followed the Quick Scan method developed by the RCE (based on the principles of UNESCO’s HUL approach) to address these issues.

Exhibition ‘Reuse, Redevelop and Design’ in Kazan, Russia // 7 – 22 October // This exhibition, focused on sustainable re-use, has been travelling across Russia and was exhibited in Kazan in October. A workshop on the possibilities of re-use and sustainable redevelopment of the industrial monuments on the shores of Lake Kaban took place, and it was aimed at Russian architecture and urban design students. The goal of this workshop was to contribute to the development of the Kaban district. The workshop took place at the request of AUIPIK, one of the RCE’s partner organisations in Russia, and was carried out by the RCE in collaboration with Mei Architects and Planners and Novascape, together with Russian experts.
Maritime Archaeology
Collaborative research on shared military and maritime heritage // In recent months, Bas Kreuger (commissioned by the Maritime Heritage International Programme of the RCE), carried out research at the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. This was part of the research on the Drama of Broome, the Japanese attack on the north-western Australian city of Broome on 3 March 1942. During this attack, 11 Dutch airplanes were lost and between 70 and 100 people, mostly civilians, were killed. Agreements were made with the Western Australia Museum on an above and underwater archaeological research into the four still missing Dutch aircrafts of the Naval Aviation Service. This research expedition is planned for 2020. Furthermore, a start was made on investigating a Dutch bomber (B-25 bomber N5-254) who was killed in an emergency landing in north-western Australia in October 1945 and had a large amount of money on board destined for the former Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia) to restart the economy after the Japanese occupation.
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
Smallepad 5 | 3811 MG Amersfoort
Postbus 1600 | 3800 BP Amersfoort
The Netherlands
+31 (0)33 – 421 7 421
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin   
Forward this newsletter to a friend

Is this email forwarded to you and would you like to receive this newsletter? Subscribe here. 
Change your preferences or unsubscribe from this newsletter
Verzorgd door MailingLijst