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Friday 31 October  

Dutch slavery records added to world heritage

Published on 26 May 2011 - 10:59am
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In Paris, UNESCO has announced that Dutch slavery records and a film collection are to be added to its Memory of the World Register.

Among the latest additions is the slavery administration of the Middelburg Commercial Company (MCC).

The MCC, based in the Province of Zeeland, was involved in the international slave trade in Europe, Africa and the West Indies. Between 1720 and 1889, MCC ships made 300 voyages, more than a third of them carrying slaves.

The archive is unique because it is almost completely intact. It includes records on slave transport, logbooks and surgeons' and doctors' journals.

But it is not just old documents that are been added to the UNESCO list. The EYE Film Institute's Desmet film collection is also considered an important piece of world heritage. Pioneer in the field Jean Desmet was the first large film distributor and cinema owner in the Netherlands.

The collection contains around 900 films from between 1907 and 1916. It includes unique early cinema productions, some of which were thought to have been lost, as well as posters, advertising material and photos.

Dutch author Multatuli's original manuscript of Max Havelaar, his book on the Dutch exploitation of coffee plantations in Indonesia, was also nominated, though did not make the heritage list. Today the figure of Max Havelaar is a hallmark of fair trade in the Netherlands. 



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide


Anonymous 26 May 2011 - 2:59pm

The Dutch slavery records are black pages in the history of the Netherlands. Strange that Multatuli's Max Havelaar did not make the list, because it reflects all the pain, sorrow,sadness and cruelty of Dutch colonial history.

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