Dutch King Willem-Alexander introduced Thursday that he’s mothballing the royal Golden Coach which has been embroiled in a racism controversy. The opulent horse-drawn carriage, referred to as “De Gouden Koets”, has traditionally transported the Dutch monarch to the opening of parliament and other state occasions, but has not been used since 2015. At the centre of the slavery controversy is a picture on the left-side panel of the golden coach.
Called “Tribute of the Colonies”, the picture depicts kneeling black folks handing over produce like cocoa and sugarcane to their white masters — together with to a younger white lady on a throne representing the Netherlands. Subsequent to her, a younger white man is seen giving a younger black boy a ebook as he’s offered by his subservient father, a picture which painter Nicolaas van der Waay in 1896 mentioned was meant to painting “civilisation”.
“We cannot rewrite the past,” the Dutch king mentioned an official video. However “we are able to attempt to settle for it collectively. This additionally applies to the colonial previous,” he added.
“The Gouden Koets can only be used when the Netherlands is ready for it. And that is not the case at the moment,” he continued. After an entire renovation that lasted 5 years, the royal coach grew to become the centrepiece of an exhibition in Amsterdam on the colonial previous of the Netherlands.
“The Gouden Koets received’t be used till the Netherlands is prepared for it, and that’s not the case in the meanwhile,” the king said. “As long as there are people living in the Netherlands who feel the pain of discrimination on a daily basis, the past will still cast its shadow over our time,” he added.
Within the Netherlands, as in different European nations, debate over the colonial previous and slavery has resurfaced because the emergence of the Black Lives Matter motion in the US.