International Heritage Cooperation

International Heritage Cooperation

International cooperation can help preserve, manage and make visible the cultural heritage that connects the Netherlands with other countries and cultures.

Over the course of history, the Netherlands has both left and absorbed countless traces and cultural influences on and from around the world. These include tangible traces such as buildings, shipwrecks, religious objects, but also intangible traces such as sayings, culinary dishes and traditions. Some of these traces reflect a more peaceful and reciprocal history, such as the trade between the Netherlands and Japan, while others are tied to violence, such as the colonial occupation and exploitation of Suriname and Indonesia.

International cooperation can help preserve, manage and make visible this cultural heritage that connects the Netherlands with other communities, countries and regions. Collaborative projects can generate new insights, stimulate reciprocal interest, acknowledge difficult pasts, and open up new opportunities.

Partner countries, focal countries

International Heritage Cooperation is part of the Netherlands’ international cultural policy. The Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Education, Culture and Science have formulated this policy for the period 2020 – 2024 with a main focus on ten partner countries:

Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname and the United States.

Yet, in this policy period, we will also cooperate with the other priority countries of the Dutch government’s international cultural policy: Belgium, China, Germany, Egypt, France, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and South Korea.


The embassies of the Netherlands in the ten partner countries have a budget for supporting local cultural heritage projects. In the Netherlands, four institutes execute the International Heritage Cooperation Policy in close cooperation with governments, institutions and organisations in the partner countries: DutchCulture, centre for international cooperation, the National Archives of the Netherlands, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, and the Dutch Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage. Jointly, these organisations aim to foster local demands in the partner countries and link the individual projects.

You are very welcome to contribute. The Dutch Embassies and the four institutes in the Netherlands can help to provide Dutch and international heritage professionals and organisations with expertise, networks or financial support.