Amsterdam exploring options for national slave trade museum

The National Monument of Dutch Slavery Past in Amsterdam's Oosterpark
The National Monument of Dutch Slavery Past in Amsterdam's Oosterparkchristophe.cappelliDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The municipality of Amsterdam announced that it is exploring the possibilities of opening a museum about the Netherlands' history in the trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved people. The aim of this exploration is to map out substantively what this museum should include and look like, the municipality said.

Amsterdam teamed up with innovation agency IZI Solutions, the Museum without Walls foundation, and the national institute for Dutch slavery past and heritage NiNsee for this product. They recruited a number of external experts, "with broad and diverse expertise in areas such as the history of slavery, history, inclusion and culture", to help with this exploration. 

"More and more people are aware of the scale and consequences of our slavery past and the way in which its legacy continues to affect society today," said Rutger Groot Wassink, Amsterdam alderman for Diversity. "Recognition, understanding and connection starts with knowing the facts. This painful side of our history must therefore be given a clear place in the collective memory. This exploration is an important step towards a national museum facility. I have every confidence in the knowledge and skills of the people involved in the exploration and look forward to their findings."

Amsterdam wants this museum to increase the historical awareness and knowledge of slavery and its consequences among a wide audience, and make a link to the present, the city said. "The starting point is a facility that complements and connects with the existing museum and cultural facilities dealing with the trans-Atlantic slavery past."