Three Dutch ethnographic museums merge

Tropenmuseum, Afrika museum en Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde National Museum of World Cultures

The Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde in Leiden en the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal last week merged to one new museum: the National Museum for World Cultures. Visitors won’t notice the merger; all three museums remain open and keep their old names. The new name will mainly be used internationally. It was already known that the three museums had to merge to ensure the Tropenmuseum’s survival. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t want to subsidies it any longer and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science only wanted to provide funds if the museum merged with the Leiden en Berg en Dal museums. The Tropenmuseum stops being a part of the Royal Institute for the Tropics, though it remains located on its premises. All of its curators from now on will be stationed in Leiden. There are plans to extensively reconstruct the Tropenmuseum (at a cost of € 30 million), but no funds are made available for now. The World Museum of Rotterdam, a municipal and not a state museum, doesn’t participate in the merger.