Embassy, Consulate-General, Consulates and NBSO's, India

Shared Cultural Heritage

Shared Cultural Heritage Program of the Netherlands

The government of the Netherlands is committed to the sustainable conservation of Shared Cultural Heritage (SCH). SCH can be regarded as the tangible and intangible historical ties that bind the Netherlands to a number of countries. Together, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science formulated a SCH policy for the period 2013 – 2016, which has three objectives:
•    Sustainably conserving cultural heritage, by increasing knowledge of SCH, boosting the exchange of knowledge, raising awareness, strengthening the local support base for sustainable conservation and making heritage accessible to the general public.
•    International cooperation in the field of SCH promotes intercultural dialogue and creates a deeper understanding of cultural identity and solidarity between people.
•    International cooperation in the field of SCH can strengthen the relationship between the Netherlands and its partner countries and offer opportunities for both partners.

In the Netherlands, three organisations implement the SCH policy in close cooperation with governments, institutions and organisations in the partner countries. These three organisations are DutchCulture, the National Archives of the Netherlands, and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. Jointly, the Dutch organisations can provide assistance in realizing projects of organisations in the partner countries.

You are welcome to cooperate with us in the SCH programme. The Embassy in New Delhi and the three organisations in the Netherlands can help to provide both Dutch and international heritage professionals and institutions with expertise, relevant contacts from our network or financial support.

Embassy Shared Cultural Heritage Program

Over the centuries, the Netherlands has left traces of its economic, trading and political presence across the world, including in India. The Embassy has a modest budget available specifically for Shared Cultural Heritage (SCH). The Dutch SCH with India can mostly be found along parts of the Indian coastline, which translates into the Spice Route or India’s centuries-old maritime trade connection with the world.

The Spice Route
1602 marked the formation of the Dutch East India Company (the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), an association of merchants meant to reduce competition, share risk and realise economies of scale. Other European countries also formed East India companies, but none was ever as successful in the spice trade as the VOC. By 1670 it was the richest corporation in the world, paying its shareholders an annual dividend of 40% on their investment despite financing 50,000 employees, 30,000 fighting men and 200 ships, many of them armed. The Dutch traders from the VOC set foot on the shores of Gujarat, Kerala, the Coromandel Coast and of the Coast of Bengal. However, those traders were not just setting up trade between India and the Netherlands: they bought textiles in India and were trading these in all corners of Asia to amass enough capital to pay for the spices shipped back to the Netherlands. One of the places where the Dutch traders had settled down was in Chinsurah, West Bengaal. More information on the shared cultural heritage in Chinsurah, can ben found in the following Chinsurah booklet.

The projects on SCH must in some way be linked to the Spice Route. Traces of the Spice Route trade can be found in the following states and therefore are the priority states for the SCH Program: Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. Based on the context of the Spice Route the Embassy prefers projects focussing on:

•    Inner city development in the framework of the cities situated along the Spice Route.
•    International cooperation in the field of SCH promotes intercultural dialogue and creates a deeper understanding of cultural identity and solidarity between people.
•    Museum and archive presentation, conservation and digitalization.
•    Innovative presentations for awareness creation of SCH.

If you or your organisation complies with the abovementioned criteria, it is possible to apply for by sending in a project proposal. Project proposals can be sent to NDE-SMRP@minbuza.nl. Please note: only English-language project proposals will be taken into consideration and add in the subject line: Project Proposal Shared Cultural Heritage Program.

Besides the Shared Cultural Heritage Program the Embassy also has other tools to support SCH projects:

•    The Embassy can connect you to relevant institutions and experts in the Netherlands to support the exchange of knowledge and collaboration.
•    The Embassy can help Dutch organisations by informing them on local circumstances, so they can adapt their projects accordingly.
•    The Embassy can help identify economic and cultural opportunities for local and Dutch organisations.

DutchCulture, centre for international cooperation

DutchCulture, which is situated in Amsterdam, aims to strengthen Dutch international cooperation in the areas of culture, media and heritage. Regarding heritage specifically, DutchCulture‘s main objective is to improve the coherence and visibility of Shared Cultural Heritage. It does so by offering a number of services to Dutch and international heritage professionals and institutions. The primary services are:

•    Advice on SCH projects. DutchCulture can connect you to its network of international heritage professionals.
•    DutchCulture manages a matching fund. Dutch legal entities (companies and registered freelancers) are able to apply for partial funding for SCH projects.
•    DutchCulture offers Dutch organisations working on an SCH project the opportunity to apply for to one of the ten SCH countries.
•    DutchCulture is in charge of managing SCH in the digital space. This includes culturalheritageconnections.org and the SCH newsletter. Additionally, DutchCulture actively uses social media to share the latest news on SCH projects.
•    DutchCulture organises customised for international heritage professionals. These programmes are an opportunity to get to know Dutch experts and institutions. The visitors are selected in dialogue with the Dutch Embassies.

If you are interested in one of these services or if you have questions, please contact us:
Email: Anouk Fienieg a.fienieg@DutchCulture.nl
Veysel Yuce v.yuce@DutchCulture.nl
Website: www.dutchculture.nl/en/heritage
Telephone: +31 20 616 4225

The National Archives of the Netherlands

The National Archives of the Netherlands (Nationaal Archief), which is situated in The Hague, holds over 3.5 million records created by the central government, organisations and individuals that have been of national significance.

Many records relate to the colonial and trading history of the Netherlands in the period from 1600 to 1975. The Dutch presence in countries in North and South America, Africa and Asia is reflected within these collections. The goals of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme are:

•    Expanding the National Archives’ international cooperation to stimulate international, interdisciplinary and historical research.
•    Digitalising the National Archives’ own collections. These collections form an important source, not only for Dutch history, but also for the SCH partner countries.
•    Improving access to information by making the relevant collections available online. This greatly supports national and international research.
•    The digitalisation of the SCH archives also, which is further underpinned by the National Archives’ national and international public programmes.
•    The Dutch and international heritage professionals and institutions in their efforts to restore, conserve and digitalise their SCH archives.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Email: Frans van Dijk frans.van.dijk@nationaalarchief.nl
Johan van Langen johan.van.langen@nationaalarchief.nl
Website: www.en.nationaalarchief.nl/international- cooperation
Telephone: +31 (0)6 55267922

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, RCE) is a department of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The head office is based in Amersfoort, Netherlands. RCE deals with built heritage, historical landscapes, archaeology, and museum collections. The RCE’s role is to create favourable conditions for sustainable conservation of heritage in an ever-changing society. The RCE also manages state-owned museum collections and archaeological finds. The RCE contributes to the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme by offering knowledge and expertise to urgent needs through multilateral and bilateral training programmes, local advice and instruments like guidelines, handbooks etc. The RCE offers shared heritage partner countries services in three categories:

•    Historical Inner Cities. Inner cities are under great pressure in the majority of SCH countries. The Netherlands has a lot of experience in integrating heritage conservation within the overall development of cities. Assistance is offered upon request.
•    Museum Collections. The Netherlands takes a leading role in conserving and managing museum collections. This expertise is available for the SCH partner countries when requested.
•    Maritime Archaeology. The Netherlands has a unique expertise in this field, which is often requested by the SCH partner countries.

If you are interested in one of these services or if you have any questions, please contact:
Email: Jean-Paul Corten j.corten@cultureelerfgoed.nl
Jinna Smit j.smit@cultureelerfgoed.nl
Martijn Manders m.manders@cultureelerfgoed.nl
Website: www.culturalheritageagency.nl
Telephone: +31 (0) 33 4217421, +31 6 462 112 05