The independent Colonial Collections Committee advises the State Secretary for Culture and Media on restitution requests for cultural goods that were removed from their original setting in the context of colonial rule. The redress of injustice is the starting point for the restitution process. Cultural goods involuntarily lost in former Dutch colonies should be returned unconditionally in response to a request by the country of origin.
Restitution requests for cultural goods that have not been looted or that originate from countries that were not Dutch colonies may also be considered by the Committee. In such cases, the Committee weighs the interests at stake.
Our colonial past has left traces in the collections held by our museums. In colonial times, many cultural objects were brought to the Netherlands against the will of their owners, for instance as spoils of war. This historical injustice is visible in the colonial collections on display in Dutch museums to this day.