Heritage Day Brazil: looking for the new Maurício de Nassau

October 2009 -

In Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam on Wednesday 7 October 2009 the Heritage Day Brazil took place. This was already the fifth  Heritage Day that the Centre for International Heritage Activities (CIE) organized. The objective of this Heritage Day Brazil was to create more coherence between the different cultural legacy projects and to discuss the mutual collaboration among the Dutch partners as well as the collaboration with Brazil. The Heritage Day gave the attendees the opportunity to meet one another and to be inspired by each other’s initiatives. Twelve initiatives were presented on posters.


Quite an international public representing diverse institutions with different backgrounds came to Rotterdam where they were able to listen to introductions by Stef Oosterloo (Rotterdam Art and Culture Service), Carlos Alberto Asfora (Brazilian Embassy) and Mariëlle van Miltenburg (Dutch Embassy in Brazil) in the morning.

The morning program was followed by three panels in which the following themes were discussed: Intangible Heritage, Tangible Heritage and Academic Cooperation and Archives. The panels were intended to serve as an introduction to the work groups in the afternoon, where - in addition to the three panel themes - the Mutuality of Mutual Cultural Heritage was also discussed.

The public was very engaged and the afternoon discussions were quite lively. Johan Maurits van Nassau was the recurring theme of the day. Many noted that it is perhaps time to focus less on this colonial history in the relationship between the Netherlands and Brazil and to focus more on the many other opportunities that lie in possible joint heritage activities between the Netherlands and Brazil. It is time for a new Johan Maurits, or: we need a fresh and broader view of potential collaboration on heritage activities.

The Heritage Day Brazil was organised in collaboration with the Atlantic World and the Dutch (AWAD) and Erfgoed Nederland (Netherlands Heritage).