About the committee

The Colonial Collections Committee was set up by the State Secretary for Culture and Media. Its task is to advise the State Secretary on requests for the return of cultural goods which were brought to the Netherlands in a colonial context and which are now in the possession of the State of the Netherlands.

In addition, the Committee may, at the request of the State Secretary, advise on requests for the return of cultural goods in the possession of a party other than the State of the Netherlands (e.g. municipalities, universities or private individuals), subject to the consent of that party. Requests can be made by the countries of origin of cultural goods lost in a colonial context. The Committee’s advice is based on provenance research provided by the museum which holds the goods concerned. Once the Committee has issued its advice, the State Secretary for Culture and Media comes to a decision. This decision is then published, along with the advice given by the Committee and the accompanying provenance report.

The Committee is independent. This means that its members do not work for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), nor do they operate under the Minister’s authority.