Golden Carriage is where it belongs, Dutch King says at museum exhibit
King Willem-Alexander opened the exhibit featuring the newly restored Golden Carriage at the Amsterdam Museum on Thursday. While there, he commented to museum directors Margriet Schavemaker and Judikje Kiers that the Golden Carriage is now where it belongs, AD reports.
The King did not elaborate on whether he meant the Golden Carriage with its colonial imagery belongs in a museum. Or whether he spoke in a broader sense, as in that the Golden Carriage was gifted to Queen Wilhelmina by the people of Amsterdam in the late 1800s and the cushions of the vehicle were embroidered by children living in the Burgerweeshuis - the orphanage that once stood in the building now housing the Amsterdam Museum.
The imagery on the Golden Carriage has been causing controversy in the Netherlands for years. Especially the panel called Tribute to the Colonies, which shows half-naked slaves offering their riches to the royal family, is considered insensitive by some and downright racist by others. The matter has Dutch parliament divided, with left-wing parties and centrist D66 saying the vehicle should be retired to a museum. And far-right parties citing Dutch tradition and heritage, and the Carriage's recent expensive restoration, as reasons for its continued use on Budget Day.
The Golden Carriage will be on display in at the Amsterdam Museum until February 2022. The museum hopes to teach visitors the background and context of the Golden Carriage, and maybe even open their minds to other points of view. "We hope that this exhibition will lead to connections and a better society for everyone," art director Schavemaker said to the King, according to AD.
De Koning opent de tentoonstelling ‘De Gouden Koets’ in het Amsterdam Museum. Na een restauratie van ruim 5 jaar is de Gouden Koets van vrijdag 18 juni 2021 tot zondag 27 februari 2022 te bezichtigen door publiek. https://t.co/gwBZ3rZZNQ pic.twitter.com/VK5CuRZTg9— Koninklijk Huis (@koninklijkhuis) June 17, 2021