Poor management threatens Rotterdam Wereldmuseum: report

Rotterdam Wereldmuseum (source: wikiipedia.org)
The Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. Nov. 11, 2007 (photo: F.Eveleens / Wikimedia)The Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. Nov. 11, 2007 (photo: F.Eveleens / Wikimedia)

The organization behind the Wereldmuseum (World Museum) in Rotterdam is deteriorating, with a falling number of visitors and barely any sponsors, according to a highly-critical audit of the museum by researcher Gitta Luiten.

“The primary function of the museum appears to be forgotten”, Luiten said, according to broadcaster RTV Rijnmond. “The focus in recent years is on earning components, the restaurant and catering," as opposed to museum operations, she said, a nod to the Michelin-star winning restaurant there.

The study was commissioned by the Municipality of Rotterdam. The Wereldmuseum is under intense scrutiny after an announcement that they intended to sell off part of their collection to fund operations. The controversial director of the museum Stanley Bremer was rebuffed last year by the commission for lack of transparency in his actions.

The Wereldmuseum became independent in 2006, and Bremer attempted to create an innovative and a self-reliant museum that would be less dependent on grants and subsidies. “The attempt proved too optimistic and the experiment actually failed," reads the commission’s report. “Although the sales increased, the profit did not follow”.