Save Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum (update: saved!)

Tropenmuseum Amsterdam

The Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam’s ethnographic and multicultural museum, is being hit by budget cuts. Over half of the staff will lose their jobs and the research library will simply shut down. The museum needs 40,000 signatures to put the Tropenmuseum back on the government agenda and save it from closure.

Please sign the petition here.

For non dutch speakers, on the site: please fill in your first name and last name (Ik = Identity = put your name), city (Wonende te = City = put your city) and your email and send. Then click on the confirmation link in the email you will receive after from the petition site.

For additional information see this short TV documentary (in Dutch).

The contrast with the recent re-opening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum couldn’t be bigger.


After all the controversy, the Dutch parliament discussed the fate of the Tropenmuseum and is now prepared to give € 5.5 million every year for the next three years. The first two years will be paid for by the ministry of Foreign Affairs (Buitenlandse Zaken), the third year will be financed by the ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap – OCW). In 2017, all museums will be evaluated and the Tropenmuseum will not be treated differently from the others. However, a few conditions need to be fulfilled:

– The Tropenmuseum needs to merge with the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, Leiden and the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal to become a ‘Museum for World Culture’ (Museum voor wereldcultuur)

– The Tropenmuseum collection and its library need to become national collections, and not as is the case now, private collections

– The Tropenmuseum needs to be independent from the Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT, Royal Institute for the Tropics).