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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Dutch king suspends use of controversial royal colonial carriage

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Dutch King Willem Alexander will refrain from using the years-drawn royal carriage to depict colonial servitude, the king announced on Thursday, January 14.

“Golden Coach will ride again only after the Netherlands is ready for it, and it is not currently the case,” King Willem Alexander said in a video announcement released on Thursday, 13 January.

The Gauden Coates were a gift from the city of Amsterdam to Queen Wilhelmina in 1898, and have been used on major public occasions by the Dutch royal family for more than a century. On the side of a carriage is the painting ‘Homage from the Colonies’, which depicts the Dutch queen seated on a throne, surrounded by bowing and kneeling colonial subjects, including Indonesians.

“All citizens of this country should feel equal, and believe that they have equal opportunities. This includes Dutch citizens who were not free in the East or West,” said Willem Alexander. The Indonesian archipelago and regions in the Caribbean Many people were enslaved under Dutch colonial rule in the U.S. “While there are people in the Netherlands who still feel the pain of discrimination, the shadow of the past still plays a part in the present day, and it’s not over yet. is,” said the king.

The carriage and its symbolism have already caused an outcry for many years, especially within Dutch expatriate groups that belong to former colonies. This has intensified over the past decade, including a call by Jeffrey Pondag of the Dutch-based committee of the Dutch Debt of Honor KUKB to ban the coach altogether. Over the past two years, this discussion was fueled by global Black Lives Matter movements.

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Since 2015, the carriage has been under restoration, and then on display at the Amsterdam Museum in the exhibition ‘The Golden Coach’ opened by King Willem Alexander in June 2020. In addition to narrating the historical background of Koch, the exhibition also outlined public discussions. On the future of the controversial gold vehicle.

Raja’s decision has received mixed reactions. The daily Het Algemein Dagblad said Willem Alexander’s decision was “wise”. “It is good that the decision was made not to paint over the panels, as was suggested earlier. We should not try to rewrite history by partially destroying it.”

Jozefin Trehey, who covers the Dutch royal family for the national Dutch broadcaster NOS, said it was “obvious that Willem Alexander did not want to choose the side, and that he could not really do so as a king. The role is to connect people, but it is difficult in a discussion where people’s views are divided so sharply.”

“It’s unclear what exactly should be in the public discussion for the Golden Coach to be used again,” Trehy said.

Michel Esjas, founder of the Black Heritage Foundation The Black Archives, told Dutch NPO Radio 1: “I can’t imagine that people in the Black community, and those who are critical of the colonial past, would ever think about it differently. Will think. (Golden Coach).

Linvati Sidarto, Amsterdam


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