The Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden and the Africa Museum in Berg en Dal from now on form the National Museum of World Cultures. The three museums already worked closely together. Financial commitments undertaken by the National Government in summer 2013 expedited existing merger plans. The new national museum will retain the three current brands and sites in Amsterdam, Leiden and Berg en Dal.
Stijn Schoonderwoerd, who became managing director of the National Museum of Ethnology in June 2012, is the director/chief executive of the new organisation. The central back office of the National Museum of World Cultures will be housed in Leiden. The merger will in fact be a continuation of the ever closer collaboration that has taken place between the ethnological museums in recent years, in the form of the SVCN Foundation (Stichting Volkenkundige Collectie Nederland).
The three museums complement each other in terms of audience reach, education, academic research, international collaboration and entrepreneurship. The new museum manages a collection consisting of more than 400,000 items, which ranks among the best in the world. In terms of audience reach, the museum will feature in the top ten of the Dutch museums, with potential for further growth. The museums’ already extensive international network will be further consolidated by the merger. Academic activities are brought together in a new research centre.
The new museum’s mission will remain completely up to date: to help create and maintain an open-minded view of the world. To that end, over the coming years the new museum will work with the public, and with cultural, civil-society and commercial partners to produce appealing, cutting-edge exhibitions, educational programmes, academic research and programmes of activities for the public.
[Information provided via email 10 April 2014]