Dear reader,

Welcome to our quarterly newsletter! Here you can read about developments in the field of international heritage cooperation in which the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) is involved. Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please let us know. Happy readings!
Shanaz Fakir, Dina Pieters and Jinna Smit, during her assignment at the Netherlands Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Jinna Smit takes her leave

This April, Programme Director Jinna Smit will resign her position. In her words: “From the moment I started working in this field, I was hooked. That was 12 years ago, and although the intricacies of international heritage cooperation will never cease to fascinate me, I feel that it’s time to step aside. Looking back, there are many, many colleagues, partner institutes, gatherings, projects and milestones that come to mind. Beyond doubt, I am in awe of the work done by heritage professionals all over the world and most grateful for having had the chance to learn from and work with so many of you. Therefore, I would like to thank each and every one of you and wish you all the best in your future endeavours”.

PS As Jinna keeps on working at the RCE, her contact details will remain the same.

What are your ideas about a collaboration platform?

We are developing a digital collaboration platform on which an international community of heritage professionals can connect and exchange ideas, knowledge and challenges. In order to make this platform successful, we would like to know the wishes and ideas of heritage professionals – the potential users. What would this platform need for you to use it and engage in it?

Soon, we will send out a survey to gather opinions and ideas of potential users of this platform. Are you a potential user and would you like to partake in this survey to help us develop this platform? Please send an email to Leon Derksen  to sign up for the survey.
Harbour of Alexandria Photo Flo
Harbour of Alexandria (photo credit: Flo P, free of rights)

Call for applications: Urban Heritage Strategies 2022

Casablanca, Alexandria and Istanbul will partner with Amsterdam in this year’s Urban Heritage Strategies (UHS) course, which is tailored to port cities and their water challenges. Although these challenges are global, the conditions differ per city, making an exchange between the participants from the four countries an enriching experience.

The course is organised by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (Erasmus University Rotterdam) in close cooperation with the Department of Architectural Engineering of Delft University of Technology and the RCE. It starts with an online part in June, focused on cognitive learning, followed by a second part in August, conducted face-to-face in the Netherlands and focused on applicable skills.

The course is open to professionals working in the field of urban development and conservation in Morocco, Egypt, Turkey and the Netherlands. For more information about the course and how to apply, click the button bellow.
About the course
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Albany exchange Neerbosch 2022

Between 14 and 18 February, American and Dutch heritage professionals explored together the development potentials of two comparable historic sites on both sides of the Atlantic: the Van Ostrande-Radliff House, which is the oldest Dutch house of Albany, United States, and Kinderdorp Neerbosch, located just outside the city of Nijmegen and once one of the largest children’s orphanages and youth care villages in the Netherlands.

The workshop was centred around the following question: how to recognise, interpret and sustain the heritage values of these sites considering the ongoing process of urban development? On 18 February, a public online meeting took place during which the two teams of experts presented their outcomes and discussed proceedings. This meeting was recorded and can be watched through the link below.

This exchange programme is organised by the International Heritage Cooperation programme of the RCE together with Historic Albany Foundation and the Van ’t Lindenhout Museum of Nijmegen, with the support of the Netherlands Consulate-General in New York. This represented the first of three workshops focused on the two cases. The following sessions will take place in May and September. Keep an eye on the social media channels of the RCE and of the Historic Albany Foundation for further information.
Re-watch the meeting
Detail cover of the English version of Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) Quick Scan Method.

Handbook launched!

Understanding historic urban sites and implementing conservation and sustainable future development of these areas is one of the core principles of UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach. This is also central in the handbook that was published last year by Universitas Indonesia in close cooperation with IPB University, Universitas Trisakti, Heritage Hands-On and the RCE.

The handbook, aimed at Indonesian university lecturers, covers a new quick scan method that puts HUL’s way of thinking into practice. The HUL Quick Scan Method was tested twice; workshops in the Indonesian cities of Muntok (Bangka) and Banjarmasin (Kalimantan) served as experimental gardens. The new handbook can now support other universities and cities with organising similar workshops as well. These workshops aim to offer young (upcoming) professionals an opportunity to develop knowledge and expertise in the field of heritage and sustainable development. In return, they will contribute to the dissemination of the HUL approach.

The handbook was launched on 25 November 2021 and the recording is available online. The handbook is available in English and Bahasa Indonesia.
Voormalige Europese handelspost aan de Hooghly rivier Foto Corten
One of the former European trading posts near the Hooghly river (photo: J.P. Corten)

Hooghly Riverfront

Just north of Kolkata, along the Hooghly River, Indian city life blends with the built heritage of former European settlements. From the 17th century onwards, European powers settled there for a profitable trade in local goods. British, Danish, French, German and Dutch traders each had their own trading post. The Dutch “factory” was located at what is today Chinsura. But what is the relevance of this heritage today for the local community? How and to what extend can it accommodate current societal needs? These questions are key in the Hooghly Heritage Hub programme.

This programme is supported by EUNIC (European National Institutes of Culture) in India and it started on 28 January with an international webinar, supported by the RCE. Based on the outcomes of the webinar, local parties and the RCE will define the shared challenges to be addressed in a joint workshop, to be conducted later this year.
“Adriana Wilhelmina Burlamacchi with a servant”, 1730, by Marcus Lodovicus Antonius Clifford, RCE (photo: Margareta Svensson).

New article highlights projects focused on museum collections and colonialism

Following the ICOM Portugal annual meeting in November 2021, our colleague Hanna Pennock wrote an article based on her presentation, titled “Traces of slavery and colonial history in the museum collection. Experiences in the Netherlands”. It aims to share knowledge and experiences developed during two recent and ongoing projects that were partly carried out within the International Heritage Cooperation programme. The article is part of an ICOM Portugal online publication and can be read from page 162.
Read the article

Meet our newest team member: Ciska Borsboom

In February, Ciska Borsboom joined the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands as communication officer for the International Heritage Cooperation programme. She has a background in government communications as well as communication within the creative industry, and is looking forward to contribute to the team’s work on international cooperation within the field of heritage.
Left side panel of the Golden Coach Tribute from the Colonies Nicolaas van der Waay
Left side panel of the Golden Coach, 'Tribute from the Colonies' by Nicolaas van der Waay (photo: Ruben Smit).

Reflection on the recent training Sharing Stories on Contested Histories – Embassy Edition

In 2018, 2019 and 2021, the RCE and the Reinwardt Academy organised the international training Sharing Stories on Contested Histories. This training, aimed at young heritage professionals, originated from the need to explore and learn about approaches and tools to present contested heritage from multiple perspectives. Following its success, various policy officers at the Netherlands Embassies asked for a similar training, as they recognised the urgency of the theme in their own work. In his article, our colleague Arjen Kok, one of the trainers, shares a reflection on the special edition of this training that took place online at the end of 2021.

In November, a new series of the training will start for young museum professionals. Some important changes inspired by the new goals of the International Heritage Cooperation programme create a fresh approach to the central theme. The call for applicants will be announced in the upcoming months. For updates, keep an eye out for this newsletter!
Read the article


This is the newsletter of the International Heritage Cooperation programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. Our 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.
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