A museum in the Netherlands has decided to rebrand the period known as the Dutch Golden Age, when artists such as Rembrandt and roaring international trade – but also colonialism and slavery – made the tiny nation one of the world’s leading powers. The Amsterdam Museum has announced it is going to call items from this collection simply “17th century” in recognition of the fact that the era was not only one of Dutch glories but also many wrongs, and rename its wing in the Hermitage museum too. Tom van der Molen, its 17th century conservator said: “In Western history, the ‘Golden Age’ has an important place strongly linked to national pride, but the term’s positive associations such as prosperity, peace, wealth and a clear conscience don’t tell the full story of the historical reality at this time. The term ignores the many negative aspects of the 17th century, such as poverty, war, forced labour and human trafficking.” But the announcement has already sparked a backlash, with prime minister Mark Rutte calling it “nonsense” in his weekly press conference on Friday. “I will carry on calling it the Golden Age,” he said, clearly exasperated. “Let’s not waste our energy on renaming the Golden Age – a… Read full this story
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