Obama to view Act of Abjuration at Rijksmuseum

When US President Barack Obama visits Amsterdam on Monday he will receive a brief tour of the Rijks Museum where he will be shown the Act of Abjuration.

This historical document, signed on 26 July 1581 formally declared the Union of Utrecht absolved of their oath of allegiance to their overlord, Philip II of Spain. It would serve as inspiration 200 years later for the US Declaration of Independence. In a publication of Elsevier Boeken, historians Coos Huijsen and Geerten Waling show that the Dutch document also influenced the French and British revolutions.

Obama is currently in the Netherlands for the Nuclear Security Summit that opens on Monday in The Hague. He will be accompanied by Prime Minister Mark Rutte during his visit to Amsterdam. For the US president to see the Act of Abjuration, the document is transported from the National Archive in The Hague where it is on permanent display. Obama will also be shown the first trade and friendship agreement to be signed by the Netherlands and the USA in 1782, as well as other prime pieces in the Rijks Museum collection.

The Nuclear Security Summit, the largest conference ever held in The Netherlands, brings 58 world leaders, 5,000 delegates and 3,000 journalists to The Hague on 24 and 25 March. A few days earlier than expected, the meeting and the security arrangements surrounding it, are already causing traffic disruptions in the city.