Influential Dutch Museum May Shut Down

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A significant historical place in the country may close due to reduced government budget, according to volunteers in charge of the museum in Veere.

Museum De Schotse Huizen (Scottish House) in Veere, Holland
Photo by Arend041/Wikimedia Commons

For 500 years, the Schotse Huizen (Scottish House) has served as proof to the bond between Netherlands’ history and Scotland. The historical tie began in the period when tenth of the residents were Scottish.

The museum, which is located in the south-western coast of the Netherlands, has been protecting the earliest links between the two countries. The buildings feature medieval designs and were constructed for Scottish businessmen. The two houses Het Lammetje and De Struys date back from 1539 and 1561.

Secretary to the board of volunteers Hanneke de Vroe shared her concern over the changes being made and the potential closure of the site."We are very concerned - the local people in Veere don't like the developments either," she said.

"We just want to keep the Scottish Houses as they are. Everything is up in the air - nobody knows what any new owner could do with the site.

Museum De Schotse Huizen (Scottish House) in Veere, Holland
Photo by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed/Wikimedia Commons

The Scottish Houses, with Veere's prosperity and significance, rose from the wool trade with Scotland as Veere was considered a main port.

In the 15th century, both countries’ alliance was reinforced when local aristocrat Wolfert VI van Borselen wedded Mary Stewart, daughter of King James I of Scotland.

The Dutch coalition government has cut down public expenses and has reduced the arts budget by a quarter in 2013. With this, the volunteers have been trying to save what is left of the site.

The group is raising money to create an action plan in October. De Vroe said if they will not be able to produce a scheme, then the ancient site would need to be closed.