National history museum plans on verge of collapse

Efforts to establish a new museum of national history in the Netherlands are on the verge of collapse after the government said it would not put money into converting the Soestdijk palace into a home for the collection.

Home affairs minister Piet Hein Donner said at the weekend converting Soestdijk, the home of queen Beatrix’ mother Juliana until her death, would cost up to €100m.
And on Saturday, culture minister Halbe Zijlstra gave the museum’s organisers until June 10 to come up with enough financial backing to carry out the work.
‘We don’t have that money and it is up to the museum directors to find it,’ Zijlstra told a radio programme.


Zijlstra is due to announce his plans to carve €200m from the arts and culture budget on that date.
In November the minister scrapped plans to set up the museum in a purpose-built building in Arnhem in order to save €50m.
At the same time, he said the museum project group would remain intact with a €4m budget for 2011 to work on expanding awareness and knowledge of Dutch history.
Earlier stories
Confusion over national history museum plans
National history museum scrapped as culture cuts bite

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