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The Emperor’s Wharf in Recife, Brazil, with the Emperor’s Pier Ecotourism Station, containing a lookout, coffee and living space (photo: Thales Paiva)
Welcome to the first edition of the newsletter of the Programme for International Heritage Cooperation of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands! This programme is the follow-up of our Shared Cultural Heritage Programme 2017-2020. About what we have achieved and hope to accomplish in the future, you can read in the publications mentioned in this newsletter. Also, meet the programme team’s newest members and get up to date with our recent projects. In the meantime, we are updating the information about the programme on our website.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic keeps affecting our lives and work. As social distancing, cultural lockdown and travel restrictions don’t make it easier to work together internationally, we are most grateful to our partners and colleagues in the Netherlands and in the partner countries. Thanks to your commitment, creativity and flexibility, we are able to carry on our joint efforts. We look forward to continuing these partnerships and welcoming new ones. Until then: keep well and stay safe!

International Heritage Cooperation programme 2021-2024: key points

Between 2021 and 2024, the International Heritage Cooperation programme continues the work achieved in the period 2009-2020 within the Shared Cultural Heritage programme. Although shared heritage remains relevant for the Netherlands, in the new policy period we will focus on the shared challenges. Countries face similar issues in caring for their heritage. But because every country operates in a different context, with different questions and approa­ches, countries can also learn from each other. This shift in emphasis – from shared heritage to shared challenges – is central to our new programme. In the next four years, we will focus on exchanging and developing new knowledge together through international cooperation. You can learn more about the aims and focus of the new programme in the summary of the policy plan.
Read summary

Meet our newest team members

Photo Sofia

Sofia Lovegrove

Sofia Lovegrove started working at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) in March, as programme officer for International Heritage Cooperation. Her main task is to support the coordination of the programme, which includes providing advice regarding communication and coordinating the impact assessment strategy of the programme. With a background in critical heritage and memory studies, and being the product of international relations herself, Sofia is eager to contribute to the important work developed within this programme, and the RCE in general.
PicturePeople van vierkant

Marina Hazeleger

Marina Hazeleger is the communication officer for the International Heritage Cooperation programme since February. Among other things, she is responsible for this newsletter. She has a background in marketing and communication and has experience in healthcare, retail, hospitality, ICT and education, but (international) heritage has her special interest. She is excited to work for the RCE and to contribute to the International Heritage Cooperation programme.
The trainers of the Sharing Stories on Contested Histories training
The trainers of the Sharing Stories on Contested Histories training, Arjen Kok (left, RCE) and Ruben Smit (right, Reinwardt Academy) in the RCE studio during the final event of the training on 23 Apri

What's Happening Now?


Publication “Shared Past. New Perspectives 2017-2020"

This publication highlights some of the projects we worked on with our partner countries during the past four years. The title refers to the fact that during this period, a shared past provided a starting point for cooperation, leading to new perspectives on heritage itself, the people that safeguard it, and on society as a whole. These projects contributed to new insights and greater understanding between countries and cultures. We are proud of these partnerships and would like to thank our colleagues in the Netherlands and in the partner countries. We look forward to continuing our joint efforts. In the years to come, the starting point for cooperation will no longer be a shared past, but the societal challenges where international cooperation can add real value. After all, more important than a shared past is a shared future.
Read publication

Training Sharing Stories on Contested Histories // 11-23 April

In April this year, the third edition of the training took place online, organised by the International Heritage Cooperation programme of the RCE, together with the Reinwardt Academy. During two weeks, more than 20 participants from 11 countries discussed with each other and experts from the Netherlands ways of presenting contested histories from multiple perspectives. On 23 April, the participants gathered in the virtual studio of the RCE to discuss their main findings and experiences. You can watch the recording on our website and you can read an article we wrote that compiles the main ideas shared and discussed during this event.
Read article
View recording

Publication “Shared Cultural Heritage 2017-2020: Looking back to look forward”

DutchCulture recently produced a publication about the national Shared Cultural Heritage programme 2017-2020, including information about the upcoming four years of this programme, under its new name – International Heritage Cooperation. This publication was created in collaboration with the programme partners - the RCE, the National Archives of the Netherlands, KIEN, and the Dutch embassies in the partner countries, as well as the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science and of Foreign Affairs. The RCE contributed with an article titled “Happy healthy Hirado: Working together on the revitalisation of a historical city centre”, written by our colleague Jean-Paul Corten.
Read publication

Mini documentary about Indian-Dutch cemetery

Following the joint Indian-Dutch workshop on the future of the Karikop Cemetery in Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu) carried out in 2017, two of the 18th century Dutch tombs were restored under the supervision of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). While the Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds funded the project, the RCE and Dodenakkers Foundation supported INTACH. A documentary shows the skillful restoration, executed by the local restoration architect Sakthi Murugan. The documentary is produced by Gravity Architecture and Engineering and can be watched online.
More info (Dutch)
View documentary

New life for “Reuse, Redevelop and Design. How the Dutch Deal With Heritage”

Now that the Covid-19 pandemic has urged us to use online means of cooperation with our national and international partners, we are also exploring the possibilities for an online version of the exhibition “Reuse, Redevelop and Design. How the Dutch Deal With Heritage”. The current exhibition and recently reprinted book still travel the world and act at each stop as the basis for a joint workshop. Now that the joint workshops are to be carried out online, the exhibition can start a new online life.
View book
View documentary

10-week digital course UNESCO training manual

The International Programme for Maritime Heritage of the RCE and UNESCO offer a 10-week digital course in which the newly published "UNESCO training manual for the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in Latin American and the Caribbean" (2021) will be used. The course is designed for advanced students, university teachers and academics in archaeology from Latin America and the Caribbean. The Caribbean area is of particular interest to the Netherlands because the Dutch islands of Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, Bonaire, St. Maarten and Aruba are situated here. The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) is scheduled to be ratified in the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2022, which makes training and knowledge exchange within the Dutch territory a priority. The course will start mid-August and lasts until the end of October. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
More information and applying

Future perspectives for Żuławy

As part of his Master’s programme Heritage and Memory Studies at the UvA, Marcel is doing a 5-month internship at the RCE (from February to July). His research, which is taking place fully online, focuses on imagining future perspectives for Żuławy – a landscape in the Vistula delta in northern Poland, which was heavily influenced by the Dutch. The area faces various social, economic, and environmental challenges and Marcel aims to assess whether its heritage can contribute to creating a sustainable and vital future. The research focuses on agriculture and water management, and its outcome will be a report, which could potentially be the basis for international cooperation on this landscape. Part of the project is some field work on site, as this will allow Marcel to directly analyse the landscape as well as interact with the residents.


This is the newsletter of the International Heritage Cooperation Programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This programme follows from the International Cultural Policy Framework 2021-2024 of the Dutch government. Other organisations executing the national International Heritage Cooperation Programme are DutchCulture, the National Archives of the Netherlands, KIEN and the Embassies of the Netherlands in the 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 programme officer, Sofia Lovegrove (s.lovegrove@cultureelerfgoed.nl). We welcome comments and suggestions regarding the content of our newsletter.

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