National history museum scrapped as culture cuts begin to bite

Plans to build a national museum celebrating Dutch history have been cancelled by the new government because of the cost.

Junior culture minister Halbe Zijlstra said it would be irresponsible to spend €50m on a new museum at the same time as cutting €200m from arts spending.
Initial plans for the project, which should have been built in Arnhem, had already been finalised and a director appointed.

Director Erik Schilp told news agency ANP he was disappointed but not surprised given the economic crisis. ‘I hope this means other cultural institutions can be given more [financial] room,’ he said.
Nevertheless, the organisational side of the museum project will remain intact and has been given a €4m budget for 2011 to work on expanding awareness and knowledge of Dutch history.
The museum was an joint initiative by the Socialists and Christian Democrats in the last parliament. The CDA is now part of the government but the Socialists have called for a parliamentary debate on the cancellation.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation