Seminar | 7 June 2018 | Museum Volkenkunde

The Deaccessioning of the Nusantara Collection

In 2013, Museum Nusantara in Delft closed its doors and was therefore in search of a new destination for its collection: approximately 18,000 objects that many regard as the shared heritage of Indonesia and the Netherlands.

​Museum Prinsenhof Delft in cooperation with the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen worked together with the Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed (RCE) to ensure that the valuation of the collection and the guidelines for deaccessioning museum objects were applied in this process. The deaccessioning of such a large collection is unique within the cultural heritage field and can provide important learning opportunities for the sector. The process, which took several years, has now come to an end. Over the last few months, the parties involved commissioned an assessment of the process in order to learn from this unique opportunity and improve deaccessioning protocols.

At this moment of conclusion, the RCMC is pleased to host the seminar The Deaccessioning of the Nusantara Collection: An Exceptional Process. The event will present the findings of the assessment and discuss and reflect on various issues that concern the process of deaccessioning, including the collection’s dispersal across the public domain. What are the concerns and procedures when 18,000 objects must find a new home? How are object conservation concerns dealt with in this transfer? To what extent can we say the Guidelines for the Deaccessioning of Museum Objects is sufficient? What ethical or political questions arise when a colonial collection enters into a process of deaccessioning? What complex histories do these objects embody and how does this reflect onto the process of selecting the objects for other collections?

The seminar will be in Dutch and the invited speakers include:
Marga Schoemaker (Museum Prinsenhof Delft)
Tessa Luger (Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed RCE)
Pim Westerkamp (Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen)
Hedi Hinzler (independent researcher)
Jos van Beurden (independent researcher of the deaccessioning)
Renée Steenbergen (Vereniging van Vrienden van Aziatische Kunst VVAK)
Kurt De Belder (Leiden University)
The seminar will be moderated by Wim Manuhutu.

This is a closed seminar which you can attend on invitation only. However, the seminar will be livestreamed on RCMC social media and afterwards the video of the seminar will be made available here on this website.

About the event

Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 13:00 to 17:30
Museum Volkenkunde | Paviljoen | Steenstraat 1, Leiden, the Netherlands


Wayne Modest
Head Research Center for Material Culture
Ninja Rijnks-Kleikamp
Coordinator Research Center for Material Culture
Annemieke Dannenberg