International Heritage Cooperation
Over the course of history, the Netherlands has both left and absorbed countless traces and cultural influences on and from around the world. These include tangible traces such as buildings, shipwrecks, religious objects, but also intangible traces such as sayings, culinary dishes and traditions. Some of these traces reflect a more peaceful and reciprocal history, such as the trade between the Netherlands and Japan, while others are tied to violence, such as the colonial occupation and exploitation of Suriname and Indonesia. All these traces show how the Netherlands became intertwined with other countries and cultures in the past, and how without this knowledge we aren’t able to properly understand our world today.
International cooperation can help preserve, manage and make visible the cultural heritage that connects the Netherlands with other communities, countries and regions. And although this past provides a starting point for collaboration, the focus is on the future. After all, every country now faces comparable societal issues, such as climate change, sustainability, participation and social inclusion. Collaborative projects can generate new insights, stimulate reciprocal interest, acknowledge difficult pasts, and open up new opportunities. It is only by reaching out to one another and learning together that we can enhance our ability to develop and build a sustainable future.
Partner countries, focal countries
International Heritage Cooperation is part of the Netherlands’ international cultural policy. The Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Education, Culture and Science have formulated this policy for the period 2020 – 2024 with a main focus on ten partner countries: Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname and the United States. Yet, in this policy period, we will also cooperate with the other priority countries of the Dutch government’s international cultural policy: Belgium, China, Germany, Egypt, France, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and South Korea.
The embassies of the Netherlands in the ten partner countries have a budget for supporting local Shared Cultural Heritage projects. In the Netherlands, four institutes execute the International Heritage Cooperation Policy in close cooperation with governments, institutions and organisations in the partner countries: DutchCulture, centre for international cooperation, the National Archives of the Netherlands and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the Dutch Centre for Intangible Heritage. Jointly, these organisations aim to foster local demands in the partner countries and link the individual projects.
You are welcome to contribute to the International Heritage Cooperation. The Dutch Embassies and the four institutes in the Netherlands can help to provide Dutch and international heritage professionals and organisations with expertise, networks or financial support.