Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands’ national museum of art and history, has revealed that its Slavery exhibition will go on display at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York this February.
Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands’ national museum of art and history, has revealed that its Slavery exhibition will go on display at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. Originally conceived and mounted in Amsterdam in 2021, an adapted version of the exhibition will open to the public in the Visitors’ Lobby of the UN headquarters from 27 February to 30 March 2023.
The Rijksmuseum is mounting the exhibition in New York under the title Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery. It is hosted by the United Nations as part of the United Nations Outreach Programme on the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery. The exhibition is made possible in part by the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN and the Dutch diplomatic mission in the United States.
Taco Dibbits, General Director of the Rijksmuseum said: Recognising the continuing impact of slavery on world history is of great importance. We are very grateful to the United Nations for drawing attention to this important subject through the exhibition.
In Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery, the Rijksmuseum focuses on slavery in the Dutch colonial era, from the 17th to the 19th century – in Brazil, Suriname and the Caribbean, as well as in South Africa, Asia and in the Netherlands itself. It presents ten true personal stories of people who were enslaved, people who profited from the system of slavery, and people who raised their voices against it.
In New York, the ten stories integral to the original Slavery exhibition will be presented around one single object: wooden foot stocks known as a ‘tronco’ (derived from the Portuguese word for ‘tree trunk’). Several enslaved people at a time would be forced to have their ankles clamped in the holes to constrain them – to subject them to corporal punishment and to prevent them from escaping. This object symbolises the suppression of more than one million people who were shipped in from around the world and forced to work, whether on plantations, as craftspeople, in mines, in transportation or on military expeditions.
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